To live is Christ, and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21
The Rev. Henry Moore says that the poet in his old age rode a little horse, grey with age, which was brought every morning from the Foundery to his house in Chesterfield Street, Marylebone.
He would jot down any thoughts that struck him, in shorthand, on a card which he had in his pocket.Not infrequently he has come to our house in the City Road, and, having left the pony in the garden in front, he would enter, crying out,Pen and ink! pen and ink!These being supplied, he wrote the hymn he had been composing.
When this was done, he would look round on those present, and salute them with much kindness, ask after their health, give out a short hymn, and thus put all in mind of eternity. He was fond upon these occasions of giving out the linesThere all the ship’s company meet.
Telford, p. 423
Weep not for a brother deceased;
Our loss is his infinite gain;
A soul out of prison released,
And freed from its bodily chain;
With songs let us follow his flight,
And mount with his spirit above,
Escaped to the mansions of light,
And lodged in the Eden of love.
Our brother the haven has gained,
Outflying the tempest and wind;
His rest he hath sooner obtained,
And left his companions behind,
Still tossed on a sea of distress,
Hard toiling to make the blest shore,
Where all is assurance and peace,
And sorrow and sin are no more.
There all the ship’s company meet,
Who sailed with the Savior beneath,
With shouting each other they greet,
And triumph o’er sorrow and death;
The voyage of life’s at an end;
The mortal affliction is past;
The age that in Heaven they spend,
Forever and ever shall last.