Scripture Verse

I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? Revelation 5:2


George W. Chadwick

Words: Will­iam Al­ex­an­der, 1857, from his po­em The Death of Ja­cob, pag­es 17–18.

Music: Peace (Chad­wick) George W. Chad­wick, 1890 (🔊 pdf nwc).

William Alexander


I saw again. Behold! Heaven’s open door,
Behold! a throne—the seraphim stood o’er it—
The white-robed elders fell upon the floor,
And flung their crowns before it.

I saw a wondrous book—an angel strong
To Heaven and earth proclaimed his loud appeals—
But a hush passed across the seraph’s song,
For none might loose the seals.

Then, fast as rain to death cry of the year,
Tears of St. John to that sad cry were given;
It was a wondrous thing to see a tear
Fall on the floor of Heaven!

And a sweet voice said, Weep not, wherefore fails
Eagle of God, thy heart, the high and leal?
The Lion out of Judah’s tribe prevails
To loose the seven-fold seal.

’Twas Israel’s voice; and straightway, up above,
Stood in the midst a wondrous Lamb, snow white,
Heart-wounded with the deep sweet wounds of love,
Eternal, infinite.

Then rose the song no ear had heard before;
Then from the white-robed throng
High anthem woke;
And fast as spring-tide on the sealess shore
The hallelujahs broke.

Who dreams of God when passionate youth is high,
When first life’s weary waste his feet have trod—
Who seeth angels’ footfalls in the sky,
Working the works of God,

His sun shall fade as gently as it rose,
Thro’ the dark woof of death’s approaching night
His faith shall shoot, at life’s prophetic close,
Some threads of golden light.

For him the silver ladder shall be set—
His Savior shall receive his latest breath—
He walketh to a fadeless coronet
Up thro’ the gate of death.