1. How far from home? I asked, as on
I bent my steps—the watchman spake:
“The long, dark night is almost gone,
The morning soon will break.
Then weep no more, but speed your flight,
With Hope’s bright star your guiding ray,
Till you shall reach the realms of light,
In everlasting day.”
2. I asked the warrior on the field:
This was his soul-inspiring song:
“With courage, bold, the sword I’ll wield,
The battle is not long.
Then weep no more, but well endure
The conflict, till your work is done;
For this we know, the prize is sure,
When victory is won.”
3. I asked again; earth, sea, and sun
Seem’d, with one voice, to make reply:
“Time’s wasting sands are nearly run,
Eternity is nigh.
Then weep no more—with warning tones
Portentious signs are thick’ning round,
The whole creation, waiting, groans,
To hear the trumpet sound.”
4. Not far from home! O blessed thought!
The trav’ler’s lonely heart to cheer;
Which oft a healing balm has brought,
And dried the mourner’s tear.
Then weep no more, since we shall meet
Where weary footsteps never roam—
Our trials past, our joys complete,
Safe in our Father’s home.
Instrumental – Sampled Sounds
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The text is from Annie Smith’s Home Here, and Home in Heaven (1855). Therefore it qualifies as one of the first original hymns in the early Seventh-day Adventist church.
The melody is subtitled Tis Midnight Hour, which was a popular song and poem of that time. The earliest date of publication I could find was 1840. Annie used the melody and also borrowed the phrase “Then sleep no more” from the original, modifying it to “Then weep no more”:
‘Tis midnight hour, the moon shines bright,
The dew-drops play beneath her ray;
The twinkling stars their trembling light,
Like beauty’s eyes display.
Then sleep no more, though ’round thy heart
Some tender dream may idly play,
For midnight song with magic art,
Shall chase that dream away.
She transformed it from a dreamy song of sentimental slumber, into a hymn of hope and courage for the Adventist believers.
The song appears in Frank Belden’s Christ in Song (1900 & 1908), but there is a “scotch snap” on two of the notes, which is in accord with the secular melody, but which was smoothed out in later hymnals. I’ve restored that note variation as I think it adds more interest to the song. I’ve also re-harmonized the tune to fit this lilting rhythm. Annie, who was a poet and artist, would certainly be pleased with these changes, and I hope you will be too!