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FOR THE DUE IMPROVEMENT OF A FUNERAL SOLEMNITY, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: Around the grave of a departed friend
Last Line: In grace, and love, and fellowship divine.
Subject(s): Coffins; Death; Friends, Religious Society Of; Funerals; Graves; Heaven; Dead, The; Quakers; Burials; Tombs; Tombstones; Paradise

AROUND the grave of a departed friend,
If due concern has prompted to attend,
Deep on our minds let the affecting scenes
Imprint the lesson, which attendance means:
For who can tell how soon his own Adieu
The solemn service may, for him, renew?

He that believes on me (what Christ had said
The priest proclaims) shall live tho' he were dead:
To ev'ry heart this is the gracious call,
On which depends its everlasting all;
The ever hoping, loving, working faith,
That saves a soul from death's devouring wrath.

The patient Job, by such a faith within,
Strength'ning his heart, could say—this mortal skin
Destroy'd, I know that my Redeemer lives—
In flesh and blood, which his redemption gives,
Job, from the dust, expected to arise,
And stand before his God with seeing eyes.

The royal Psalmist saw this life of man,
How vain, how short, at its most lengthen'd span;
Conscious in whom the human trust should be,
Truly my hope, he said, is ev'n in Thee—
And pray'd for its recover'd strength,—before
He went from hence, here to be seen no more.

The mystic chapter is rehears'd, wherein
Paul sings the triumph over death and sin;
The glorious body, freed from earthy leav'n,
Image and likeness of the Lord from Heav'n;
For such th' abounding in his work shall gain;
Labour, we know, that never is in vain.

Hence comes the sure and certain hope, to rise
In Christ; tho' man, as born of woman, dies:
True life, which Adam died to, at his fall,
And Christ, the sinless Adam, can recall,
By a new, heav'nly birth from Him revives,
And breathes again God's holy breath of lives.

A voice from Heav'n bade hearing John record,
Blest are the dead, the dying in the Lord—
In them, the pray'r, which man's Redeemer will'd
"That men should pray," is perfectly fulfill'd:
This perfect sense the words that we repeat,
Require, to make the pray'd-for good complete.

Thanks then are due for all the faithful dead,
Departed hence to be with Christ, their Head;
And pray'r, unfainting, for his—come ye blest—
Come, ye true children, enter into rest;
Live in my Father's kingdom, and in mine,
In grace, and love, and fellowship divine.

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