The Last Hymn

The Sabbath Day was ending in a village by the sea,
The uttered benediction touched the people tenderly;
And they rose to face the sunset in the glowing, lighted west,
And then hastened to their dwellings for God’s blessed boon of rest.
But they looked across the waters and a storm was raging there,
A fierce spirit moved above them – the wild spirit of the air –
And it lashed and shook and tore them, till they thundered, groaned and boomed,
And alas for any vessel in their yawning gulfs entombed!
Very anxious were the people on that rocky Coast of Wales;
Lest the dawn of coming morrow should be telling awful tales,
When the sea had spent its passion and should cast along the shore
Bits of wreck and swollen victims, as it had done heretofore.
With the rough winds blowing round her, a brave woman strained her eyes,
And she saw along the billows a large vessel fall and rise.
Oh, it did not need a prophet to tell what the end must be.
For no ship could ride in safety near that shore on such a sea.
Then the pitying people hurried from their homes and thronged the beach;
Oh, for power to cross the waters and the perishing to reach!
Helpless hands were wrung for morrow, tender hearts grew cold with dread,
And the ship urged by the tempest to the fatal rock-shore sped.
She has parted in the muddle and the half of her goes down;
God have mercy! Oh, is heaven far to seek for those who drown?
Lo! When next the white, shocked faces looked with terror on the sea,
Only one last clinging figure on a spar was seen to be.
Nearer to the trembling watchers came the wreck, tossed by the wave.
And the man still clung and floated, though no power on earth could save.
“Could we send him a short message?” “Here’s a trumpet, shout away!”
‘Twas the preacher’s hand that took it, but he wondered what to say.
Any memory of his sermon? “Firstly? Secondly?” Ah, no.
There was but one thing to utter in the awful hour of woe,
So he shouted through the trumpet, “Look to Jesus Can you hear?”
And, “Aye, aye, sir” rang the answer o’er the waters loud and clear.
Then they listened. He is singing, “Jesus, lover of my soul.”
And the wind brought back the echo, “While the nearer waters roll.”
Strange, indeed, it was to hear him, “Till the storm of life is past,”
Singing bravely from the water, “Oh, receive my soul at last!”
He could have no other refuge, “Hangs my helpless soul on thee,
Leave, oh, leave me not – ” the singer dropped at last into the sea.
And the watchers, looking homeward, through their eyes with tears made dim,
Said, “He passed to be with Jesus in the singing of that hymn.”

– Sent in by YOUNG W. LEE, Copperas Cove, Texas.

From the Reverse side of the clipping:

Man’s Forehead Crushed with Ax

Corsicana, Texas, Sept 30. – The body
of an unidentified white man was found
in a wagon near Carl, this county, about
noon today. The wagon was standing
near the public road. The body was in
an advanced stage of decomposition and
the man is believed to have been dead …

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