"My Lord Draws Nigh"
by D. W. Whittle (1840-1901)


D. W. Whittle
The last poem Whittle wrote was composed and dictated a few weeks before his death, during a night made sleepless by intense pain. The musical chiming of a little clock by his bedside made him think of the Old Testament high priest of whose approach one was warned by the sound of the bells on the hem of his robe. It will be seen that his mind was still clear, his heart true and his hope bright, as he looked forward to soon being in the presence of his Lord.


"My Lord Draws Nigh"

"Swift with melodious feet, the midnight hours pass by;
 As with each passing bell so sweet, I think, 'My Lord
 draws nigh.'
 I see heaven's open door, I hear God's gracious voice;
 I see the blood-washed round the throne, and with them
 I rejoice.

"It may be that these sounds are the golden bells so sweet,
 Which tell me of the near approach of the heav'nly High
 Priest's feet.
 Not every night is thus; some nights with pain are drear;
 Then I join my moan with creation's groan, and the
 chimes I do not hear.

"But the Lord remains the same; faithful He must abide;
 And on His Word my soul will rest, for He is by my side.
 Some midnight, sleepless saints, made quick by pain to hear,
 Shall join the glad and welcome cry, 'The Bridegroom
 draweth near.'

"Then I shall see His face, His beauteous image bear;
 I'll know His love and wondrous grace, and in His glory
 share.
 So sing my soul in praise, as bells chime o'er and o'er,
 The coming of the Lord draws near, when time shall be
 no more."

From George C. Stebbins: Reminiscences and Gospel Hymn Stories by Himself. New York: George H. Doran Company, ©1924.

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