Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
Words: Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope (London: James Nisbet, 1857), pages 211–13. The last three stanzas have also been published as a cento, with the line
Swiftly moving, upward, onward replaced by
Like the eagle, upward, onward.
Shall this life of mine be wasted?
Shall this vineyard lie untilled?
Shall true joy pass by untasted,
And this soul remain unfilled?
Shall the God-given hours be scattered,
Like the leaves upon the plain?
Shall the blossoms die unwatered
By the drops of heavenly rain?
Shall I see each fair sun waking,
And not feel, it wakes for me?
Each glad morning, brightly breaking,
And not feel, it breaks for me?
Shall I see the roses blowing,
And not wish to bloom as they?
Holy fragrance round me throwing,
Luring others on the way.
Shall I hear the free bird singing
In the summer’s stainless sky,
Far aloft its glad flight winging,
And not seek to soar as high?
Shall this heart still spend its treasures
On the things that fade and die;
Shall it court the hollow pleasures
Of bewildering vanity?
Shall these lips of mine be idle;
Shall I open them in vain?
Shall I not with God’s own bridle
Their frivolities restrain?
Shall these eyes of mine still wander?
Or, no longer turned afar,
Fix a firmer gaze and fonder
On the bright and morning Star?
Shall these feet of mine, delaying
Still in ways of sin be found,
Braving snares and madly straying
On the world’s bewitching ground?
No, I was not born to trifle
Life away in dreams or sin!
No, I must not, dare not stifle
Longings such as these within!
Swiftly moving, upward, onward,
Let my soul in faith be borne;
Calmly gazing, skyward, sunward,
Let my eye unblinking turn!
Where the cross, God’s love revealing,
Sets the fettered spirit free,
Where it sheds its wondrous healing,
There my soul, thy rest shall be.
Then no longer idly dreaming
Shall I fling my years away;
But, each precious hour redeeming,
Wait for the eternal day!