He, bearing His cross, went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha. John 19:17
Words: John Newton, Olney Hymns (London: W. Oliver, 1779), Book 2, number 56.
It is good to be here.
Let me dwell on Golgotha,
Weep and love my life away!
While I see Him on the tree
Weep and bleed, and die for me!
That dear blood, for sinners spilt,
Shows my sin in all its guilt:
Ah, my soul, He bore thy load,
Thou hast slain the Lamb of God.
Hark! His dying words;
Father, let the sinner live;
Sinner, wipe thy tears away,
I thy ransom freely pay.
While I hear this grace revealed,
And obtain a pardon sealed;
All my soft affections move,
Wakened by the force of love.
Farewell world, thy gold is dross,
Now I see the bleeding cross;
Jesus died to set me free
From the law, and sin, and thee!
He has dearly bought my soul
Lord, accept, and claim the whole!
To Thy will I all resign,
Now, no more my own, but Thine.
There is a legend somewhere told
Of how the skylark came of old
To the dying Savior’s cross,
And circling round that form of pain
Poured forth a wild, lamenting strain,
As if for human loss.
Pierced by those accents of despair,
Upon the tiny mourner there
Turning His fading eyes,
The Savior said, “Dost thou so mourn
And is thy fragile breast so torn,
That man, thy brother, dies?
“O’er all the world uplifted high,
We are alone here, thou and I;
And near to Heaven and thee
I bless thy pity-guided wings!
I bless thy voice—the last that sings
Love’s requiem for Me.
Sorrow no more shall fill thy song;
These frail and fluttering wings grown strong,
Thou shalt no longer fly
Earth’s captive—nay, but boldly dare
The azure vault, and upward bear,
Thy transports to the sky!
Soon passed the Savior; but the lark,
Close hovering near Him in the dark,
Could not his grief abate;
And nigh the watchers at the tomb,
Still mourned through days of grief and gloom,
With note disconsolate.
But when to those sad mourners came,
In rose and amethyst and flame,
The Dawn Miraculous,
Song in which sorrow had no part,
Burst from the lark’s triumphant heart—
Sweet and tumultuous!
An instant, as with rapture blind,
He faltered; then, his Lord to find,
Straight to the ether flew—
Rising where falls no human tear,
Singing where still his song we hear
Piercing the upper blue!
Florence Earle Coates (1850–1927)