…so great a cloud of witnesses.@Hebrews 12:1

John W. Chadwick, 1876. Chadwick wrote these words for the 25th anniversary of his church in Boston, Massachusetts.

Auld Lang Syne, traditional Scottish tune (🔊 pdf nwc).

John W. Chadwick (1840-1904)

It singeth low in every heart,
We hear it each and all;
A song of those who answer not,
However we may call.
They throng the silence of the breast;
We see them as of yore;
The kind, the true, the brave, the sweet,
Who walk with us no more.

’Tis hard to take the burden up,
When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joy of life,
They softened every frown.
But, Oh, ’tis good to think of them
When we are troubled sore;
Thanks be to God that such have been,
Though they are here no more.

More home-like seems the vast unknown
Since they have entered there;
To follow them were not so hard,
Wherever they may fare.
They cannot be where God is not,
On any sea or shore;
Whate’er betides, Thy love abides,
Our God, forevermore.