Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
The Disciples after the Ascension
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815–1881)
HE is gone! beyond the skies,
A cloud receives him from our eyes:
Gone beyond the highest height
Of mortal gaze or angel’s flight:
Through the veils of time and space,        5
Passed into the holiest place:
All the toil, the sorrow done,
All the battle fought and won.
He is gone; and we return,
And our hearts within us burn;        10
Olivet no more shall greet
With welcome shout his coming feet:
Never shall we track him more
On Gennesareth’s glistening shore:
Never in that look or voice        15
Shall Zion’s walls again rejoice.
He is gone; and we remain
In this world of sin and pain:
In the void which he has left,
On this earth of him bereft,        20
We have still his work to do,
We can still his path pursue:
Seek him both in friend and foe,
In ourselves his image show.
He is gone; we heard him say,        25
“Good that I should go away”;
Gone is that dear form and face,
But not gone his present grace;
Though himself no more we see,
Comfortless we cannot be;        30
No! his Spirit still is ours,
Quickening, freshening all our powers.
He is gone; towards their goal
World and church must onward roll;
Far behind we leave the past,        35
Forward are our glances cast;
Still his words before us range
Through the ages, as they change:
Wheresoe’er the truth shall lead,
He will give whate’er we need.        40
He is gone; but we once more
Shall behold him as before,
In the heaven of heavens the same
As on earth he went and came.
In the many mansions there        45
Place for us he will prepare:
In that world, unseen, unknown,
He and we may yet be one.
He is gone; but not in vain,—
Wait until he comes again:        50
He is risen, he is not here;
Far above this earthly sphere:
Evermore in heart and mind,
Where our peace in him we find,
To our own eternal Friend,        55
Thitherward let us ascend.

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