The land before them, where to choose—
They may not dwell at one—
Lay far and wide, on either side,
Beneath the morning sun.
Here homes of rest, like Eden dressed,
And there, beyond the skies,
The City stands not made with hands,
Nor seen with mortal eyes.
Who pitched his tent where sinners went,
Still keeps his spirit whole;
Nor eye nor ear lets that way near,
Defilement to the soul.
The Lord knows how the sainted brow
To fence with holy shame,
Sweet angel guest, unknown, but blest,
To pull us from the flame.
Straight to his noon, with staff and shoon,
The pilgrim climbs the hills;
And see the star of Christ afar,
Dim through the twilight’s chills.
There, like a pall, o’er field and wall,
The furnace hangs its breath;
And Jordan’s waves those cities’ graves
Heap with a sea of death.