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Behold, they gain the lonely height,
the Master and the favored three,
and through the thickest gloom of night
the glory of the Lord they see.
He prays, and lo! the wondrous cloud
enwraps him in its robe of fire;
and they on earth, in terror bowed,
look upward, fainting with desire.
What forms are these that, floating near,
hold converse with their Lord on high?
The prophet old, the Tishbite seer,
why speak they now of Calvary?
Yea, seer and prophet witness gave
that all their work on earth was done:
for he, the Christ, was strong to save,
and all that they had hoped was won.
What wonder that the eager heart
should seek to stay the flight of time;
and, from that vision loathe to part,
still linger in that loftier clime?
Ah, vain the dream! The morning clear
brings back earth's weary life again;
the heavenly voice no more they hear,
but murmuring cries of doubt and pain.
Yet still within each faithful breast
there dwells the thought of what shall be;
that vision of the eternal rest,
that cloud of Love's deep mystery.
So grant us, Lord, through mists of night,
to see thee in thy glory clad;
make us thy children, heirs of light,
and with thy gladness make us glad.
Edward Hayes Plumptre (1821-1891), 1871