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Song of the Spirit, a poem by Rosa Emma Salaman (1848)


Contribute a translationSource (English)


Come, sweet sister, come away,
Oh! leave your tenement of clay,
And let not all your love be wasted,
While heavenly bliss remains untasted.

I’ve watched you all your life on earth,
E’en from the moment of your birth,
’Tis I that give to all you see
That colouring so heavenly,
’Tis I that whisper in your ear
The music of another sphere;
I float about your path by day,
I give to all you think or say,
A tenderness and love, which now
With grief I trace upon that brow.
’Tis I who hover all the night
Around your bed till morning’s light,
And give your dreams a holier dye
Than can be seen by mortal eye.

Now raise your thoughts from earth to heaven,
And think upon the bliss that’s given;
Think of the spirits’ power who raise
Their voices day and night in praise;
In strains angelical they sing
The wonders of th’ Eternal King.
They fly at their Creator’s call,
Then low in adoration fall.

Now bid all earthly cares adieu,
All earthly pain, and pleasure too,
And tread with me that azure sky
On which you gaze so wond’ringly;
The very air we breathe above,
An atmosphere of holy love.
Your joy and rapture here below
No sympathy can ever know;
But there ’tis purified—refined
In elements of floating mind;
There shall we feed on thought sublime
Beyond the ravages of time,
And watch and pray o’er those we love,
Till every breath a blessing prove;
We’ll dwell for ever with the Lord,
And thank and praise his name adored.
Give glory to His majesty
In tones that rend the vaulted sky.

The poem, “Song of the Spirit” by Rosa Emma Salaman, was first published in the Occident 6:7, Tishrei 5609, October 1848, p. 333-334. In her bound collections of poetry, Poems (1853), it is found on pp. 98-100 under a slightly different title, “The Spirit’s Song.”

In contributing her poem to the Occident, Salaman wrote the following,

I send you these lines of mine, as the idea occurred to me that the beautiful figure kneeling on the tomb, with the tearful eyes and hand pointing towards heaven, might be supposed to be listening to the distant song of the spirit, who has ascended unto the regions of bliss.


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