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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
On the Joys of Heaven
By Thomas à Kempis (1380–1471)
 
From ‘The Voice of Christian Life in Song: or, Hymns and Hymn-Writers of Many Lands and Ages,’ by Elizabeth Rundle Charles

HIGH the angel choirs are raising
  Heart and voice in harmony;
The Creator King still praising,
  Whom in beauty there they see.
 
Sweetest strains, from soft harps stealing;        5
Trumpets, notes of triumph pealing;
Radiant wings and white stoles gleaming,
Up the steps of glory streaming;
Where the heavenly bells are ringing,
Holy, holy, holy! singing        10
  To the mighty Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! crying;
For all earthly care and sighing
  In that city cease to be!
 
Every voice is there harmonious,        15
Praising God in hymns symphonious;
Love each heart with light enfolding
As they stand in peace beholding
    There the Triune Deity!
Whom adore the seraphim,        20
  Aye with love eternal burning;
Venerate the cherubim,
  To their fount of honor turning;
  Whilst angelic thrones adoring
    Gaze upon His majesty.        25
 
Oh how beautiful that region,
And how fair that heavenly legion,
  Where thus men and angels blend!
Glorious will that city be,
Full of deep tranquillity,        30
  Light and peace from end to end!
All the happy dwellers there
  Shine in robes of purity,
  Keep the law of charity,
  Bound in firmest unity;        35
Labor finds them not, nor care.
Ignorance can ne’er perplex,
Nothing tempt them, nothing vex;
Joy and health their fadeless blessing,
Always all things good possessing.        40
 
 
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