A Glimpse Of Heaven

Joseph Horatio Chant 1837 (Stoke Underham, Somersetshire, ) – 1928 (England)

As the caged eagle neared the mountain range,
O'er which he oft had soared on pinions strong,
He clapped his wings, moved by some impulse strange,
And then fell dead his prison floor along.
So Moses stood on Pisgah's heights alone,
With sight undimmed, and unabated strength;
He gazed with rapture on the vision shown,
Of the fair land in all its breadth and length;
He saw the vale of Eschol clad with vine,
Mount Libbanus adorned with lordly trees,
Gilead and Achor, with their lowing kine,
And verdant Sharon swept by the sea breeze;
He saw the spot where Jacob's ladder stood,
The oaks at Mamre where their father prayed,
Saw Bashan with its pastures and its wood,
And the rude cave where Abram Sarah laid.
Saw the whole land--its hills and vales and streams,
Its lakes and pools, its vineyards and its groves,
A wealth and glory far beyond his dreams;
Better, it seemed, than all earth's treasure troves.
God then revealed a glimpse of His own face,
Which Moses once desired, but God withheld,
But finished now the God-ordained race,
The battle fought, and every passion quelled.
As he beholds the glory of his Lord,
And looks within the pearly gates ajar,
Snaps, in an instant, life's frail brittle cord,
And he is where the holy angels are.
So is it, likewise, with most dying saints;
They see e'en here the beatific sight;
The spirit then breaks thro' this world's restraints,
And enters into heaven's effulgent light.
Not sorrow snaps the silver cord, but joy;
Not woe, but bliss, expands the golden bowl.
The pitcher breaks when free from earth's alloy,
And fails the wheel when heaven has filled the soul.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:30 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,605
Words 292
Stanzas 9
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Joseph Horatio Chant

Joseph Horatio Chant was born on August 19, 1837 at Stoke Underham, Somersetshire, England. His parents moved to Canada in 1840, and settled in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Chant attended schools in the area and upon graduation taught for two years in Cathcart, Burford township. In 1864 he attended Victoria College and entered the ministry, being ordained in 1868. That same year he married Mary McKim and the next year their first of eight children were born. Chant, as a minister for the United Church, never remained in one place long, though he, his wife and daughter Hattie eventually did settle down in Newburg Village when he was Superannuated in 1896. His wife died in 1914 and he moved again, this time to North Bay where he lived with his daughter from 1916 until 1925. In 1915 Chant published a collection of poems, Gleams of Sunshine. This collection of unpretentious poetry is indebted to his spirituality in which he praises God, country and nature, extolling simple virtues, but in a practical and not didactic or heavy handed manner Joseph Horatio Chant died in North Bay, Ontario on June 8, 1928, two months short of his 91st birthday. more…

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