Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pilgrim's of the Night

After yesterday's post, yours truly determined to find out more about the hymn sung during Mrs. Welborne's funeral at Winter Park in January 1884.

I quickly found it was written by Dr. Frederick W. Faber of London back in 1854, and entitled "Pilgrims of the Night." It originally had seven stanzas, but the American love of brevity shortened it to just three in hymn books printed on this side of the Atlantic. The surviving stanzas were likely sung by the mourners on Interlachen that winter day described by Harriet Switzer so many years ago:

Darker than night life's shadows fall around us,
And, like benighted men we miss our mark;
God hides himself, and grace hat scarcely found us
Ere death finds out his victims in the dark.

Rest comes at length, though life be long and dreary,
The day must dawn, and darksome night be past;
Faith's journey ends in welcome to the weary,
And heaven, the heart's true home, will come at last.

Cheer up my soul! Faith's moonbeams softly glisten
Upon the breast of life's most troubled sea;
And it will cheer thy drooping heart to listen
To those brave songs which angels mean for thee.

*Annotations Upon Popular Hymns, by Charles Seymour Robinson, 1893.
*Thomas Carlyle: A History of His Life in London, 1834-1881, by James Anthony Froude, 1885.

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