"If All Our Hopes and All Our Fears" by John Bowring

If all our hopes and all our fears
Were prisoned in life’s narrow bound;
If, travellers through this vale of tears,
We saw no better world beyond;
O what could check the rising sigh,
What earthly thing could pleasure give?
O who would venture then to die-
O who could then endure to live?

Were life a dark and desert moor,
Where mists and clouds eternal, spread
Their gloomy veil behind, before,
And tempests thunder overhead:
Where not a sunbeam breaks the gloom,
And not a flow’ret smiles beneath;
Who could exist in such a tomb?
Who dwell in darkness and in death?

And such were life, without the ray
From our divine religion given;
‘Tis this that makes our darkness day;
‘Tis this that makes our earth a heaven.
Bright is the golden sun above,
And beautiful the flowers that bloom;
And all is joy, and all is love,
Reflected from a world to come.

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