poetry & praise
Senior Poems


The Sunny Side of Seventy
The sunny side of seventy!
  I've reached it long ago,
And now am nearing Eighty
  With hair as white as snow.
Eyes dim, joints stiff, back feeble.
  I seem in evil case,
To sing of sunny seventy,
  Seems somewhat out of place.

But is it? Pause and ponder
  What the Good Book hath said
Of righteousness and glory
  Crowning the hoary head.
Think of the rocks and quicksands
  Which I have safely passed,
By the Good Shepherd's guidance,
  Through many a roaring blast.
Now I am near the borders
  Of the bright shining land
Where blessed saints are waiting
  For me to join their band,—
 For me and all believers,
  Cleansed in that wondrous flood
 Which frees from all defilement,
  E'en Christ's most precious blood.

Does not that counterbalance
  The weakness of my frame!
Oh, how the thought of glory
  Doth set my heart on flame!
What though this mortal body,
  Poor tenement of clay,
'Neath death's dominion falling,
  Should perish and decay.
What matter! All is brightness,
  For thus proclaims the Word,
Absent from this poor body,
  Then present with the Lord.

How glorious are my prospects,
  Lo! to faith's piercing view
Lie realms of brightest glory,
  Scenes ever fair and new.
The pearly gates, the heavens
  Where the bright angels dwell,
Where shining saints, in myriads,
  God's praises ever tell;
Where all is joy and blessing,
  True happiness and peace;
Where death, pain, care and sorrow
  Forevermore shall cease;
Where Christ is heavenly glory,
  The Lamb of God divine,
God's Son, His well-beloved,
  Doth reign, —and Christ is mine!

Speak not of earthy glory,
  Of worldly wealth or fame;
The brightness of His presence
  Will put them all to shame.
E'en now, although my vision
  Be yet obscure and dim,
How fade their transient glories
  Whene'er I gaze on Him!
His wondrous self-surrender,
  His cross, His thorn-crowned brow
His loving heart, His patience,
  His agony and woe;
And now HIS THRONE OF GLORY,
  On which He sits supreme,
Ruling o'er powers and princedoms,
  Heaven's bright and blessed theme;
Thus God shows satisfaction
  For priceless labor done
On Calvary's cross of agony,
  By His beloved Son.

How trivial seem time's doings
  When these realities
Are by the Holy Spirits power
  Presented to our eyes;
Then let us thank the Saviour
  Who died upon the tree
Then we, made meet, might with Himself
  Spend our Eternity.
All we can see is transient,
  And soon will pass away;
Things unseen are eternal,
  And so will last for aye,
And so, my God, I praise Thee
  That thus far am I come,
For the Sunny Side of Seventy
  Has brought me well-nigh home.

Addendum.
Because Old Time untiring
  Hath borne me swift along,
The Sunny Side of Eighty
  Is now my joyous song;
Joyous in spite of weakness,
  Of labour and of sorrow,
Joyous when shines the passing day
  Or gloom's the coming morrow,
For know thou this, true happiness
  Is not a thing of earth;
Not on events doth it depend,
  Heaven is its place of birth.
Its true, its native home; for oh—
  Sound it through earth abroad!—
It has its blessed origin
  In the warm heart of God!

God's thoughts towards us are loving
  thoughts,
  God's actions ever tend
To humble us, to do us good
  When comes our latter end.
For God is Light and Love, let all
  Grasp firm that blessed truth.
Ponder it well, ye gray-haired saints,
  Lay it to heart, oh youth.
Ho! let us sing it loudly
  My fellow-pilgrims all;
Oh! praise the Lord of Glory,
  Praise Him both great and small,
Aid me to chant His goodness
  Who sent His Son to die
That hell-deserving sinners
  Might dwell with Him on high.

And Thou, most precious Saviour,
  When shall we see Thy face,
Bright Morning Star, shine forth in all
  The glory of Thy grace,
Lord Jesus come, with voice and trump
  And manifested power;
Oh come, and take Thy loved ones home:
  Hail to that blessed hour!
  —by Hector Maiben

And even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4


"Not Growing Old"
They say that I am growing old;
I've heard them tell it times untold,
In language plain and bold—
But I'm not growing old.

This frail shell in which I dwell
Is growing old, I know full well—
But I am not the shell.

What if my hair is turning gray?
Gray hairs are honorable, they say.
What if my eyesight's growing dim?
I still can see to follow Him
Who sacrificed His life for me
Upon the cross of Calvary.

What should I care if Time's old plow
Has left its furrows on my brow?
Another house, not made with hand,
Awaits me in the Glory Land.

What though I falter in my walk?
What though my tongue refuse to talk?
I still can tread the narrow way,
I still can watch and praise and pray.

My hearing may not be as keen
As in the past it may have been,
Still, I can hear my Saviour say,
In whispers soft, "This is the way."

The outward man, do what I can
To lengthen out this life's short span,
Shall perish, and return to dust,
As everything in nature must.

The inward man, the Scriptures say,
Is growing stronger every day.
Then how can I be growing old
When safe within my Saviour's fold?

Ere long my soul shall fly away
And leave this tenement of clay;
This robe of flesh I'll drop, and rise
To seize the "everlasting prize."
I'll meet you on the street of gold,
And prove that I'm not growing old.
  —John E. Roberts

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