Why Do We Mourn Departing Friends?

Why do we mourn departing friends,
Or shake at death’s alarms?
’Tis but the voice that Jesus sends
To call them to His arms.

Are we not tending upward, too,
As fast as time can move?
Nor would we wish the hours more slow
To keep us from our love.

Why should we tremble to convey
Their bodies to the tomb?
There the dear flesh of Jesus lay,
And left a long perfume.

The graves of all His saints He blessed,
And softened every bed;
Where should the dying members rest,
But with the dying Head?

Thence He arose, ascending high,
And showed our feet the way;
Up to the Lord our flesh shall fly,
At the great rising day.

Then let the last loud trumpet sound,
And bid our kindred rise;
Awake, ye nations under ground;
Ye saints, ascend the skies.

-Isaac Watts, Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs, 1707.

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