My soul is heavy with the chain
That drags me down to earth; in vain
I try to free me from its pain.
And yet I ask not wealth or fame,
I ask not power nor titled name, –
Only my Saviour’s love I claim.
I fain would fix my wandering eye
Upon my treasure in the sky,
Bought by His death on Calvary.
But I am weak; my soul’s best prayer
To Heaven falls earthward, as it were
Afraid of gaining access there.
Earthward, where my soul’s hopes are not;
Where I have but a pilgrim’s lot:
Why is my Father’s home forgot?
Earth’s fairest scenes must pass away,
Man’s mightiest monuments decay,
And the poor traveller may not stay.
O Comforter Divine, appear,
Impart the love that knows not fear,
And let me feel Thee ever near.
Then shall my soul, from earthly things
set free, soar up on tireless wings,
To where God’s choir forever sings.
– John Reade, 1837-1919
[Mr Reade was literary editor of the Montreal Star for almost 50 years. The Star was at that time the largest circulation English language daily newspaper in Canada. ]