As far as any eye could seeThere was no green. But every treeWas cinder black, and all the groundWas grey with ash. The only soundWas arid wind, like spirits' ghosts,Now gasping for some living hostsIn which to dwell, as in the daysOf evil men, before the blazeOf unimaginable fireHad made the earth a flaming pyreFor God's omnipotent displayOf holy rage. The dreadful DayOf God had come. The moon had turnedTo blood. The sun no longer burnedAbove, but, blazing with desire,Had flowed into a lake of fire.The seas and oceans were no more,And in their place a desert floorFell deep to meet the brazen skies,And silence conquered distant cries.
The Lord stood still above the air.His mighty arms were moist and bare.They hung, as weary, by his sideUntil the human blood had driedUpon the sword in his right hand.He stared across the blackened landThat he had made, and where he died.His lips were tight, and deep inside,The mystery of sovereign willGave leave, and it began to spillIn tears upon his bloody swordFor one last time.And then the LordWiped every tear away and turnedTo see his bride. Her heart had yearnedFour thousand years for this: His faceShone like the sun, and every traceOf wrath was gone. And in her blissShe heard the Master say, "Watch this:Come forth all goodness from the ground,Come forth and let the earth redoundWith joy." And as he spoke, the throneOf God came down to earth and shoneLike golden crystal full of light,And banished once for all the night.And from the throne a stream beganTo flow and laugh, and as it ran,It made a river and a lake,And everywhere it flowed a wakeOf grass broke on the banks and spreadLike resurrection from the dead.
And in the twinkling of an eyeThe saints descended from the sky.
And as I knelt beside the brookTo drink eternal life, I tookA glance across the golden grass,And saw my dog, old Blackie, fastAs she could come. She leaped the stream-Almost-and what a happy gleamWas in her eye.I knelt to drink,And knew that I was on the brinkOf endless joy. And everywhereI turned I saw a wonder there.A big man running on the lawn:That's old John Younge with both legs on.And there's old Beryl, and Arnold too,Still holding hands beneath the blueAnd crystal sky: No stoop, they standErect. No tremor in their hand.The blind can see a bird on wing,The dumb can lift his voice and sing.The diabetic eats at will,The coronary runs uphill.The lame can walk, the deaf can hear,The cancer-ridden bone is clear.Arthritic joints are lithe and free,And every pain has ceased to be.And every sorrow deep within,And every trace of lingering sinIs gone. And all that's left is joy,And endless ages to employThe mind and heart to understandAnd love the sovereign Lord who plannedThat it should take eternityTo lavish all his grace on me.
O God of wonder, God of might,Grant us some elevated sight,Of endless days. And let us seeThe joy of what is yet to be.And may your future make us free,And guard us by the hope that we,Within the light of candle three,Your glory will forever see.