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The Church has waited long

The Church has waited long,
  Her absent Lord to see,
And still in loneliness she waits,
  A friendless stranger she.
  Age after age has gone,
  Sun after sun has set,
And still in weeds of widowhood,
  She weeps a mourner yet.

Saint after saint on earth
  Has lived, and loved, and died;
And as they left us one by one,
  We laid them side by side;
  We laid them down to sleep,
  But not in hope forlorn;
We laid them but to ripen there,
  Till the last glorious morn.

The serpent's brood increase,
  The powers of hell grow bold,
The conflict thickens, faith is low,
  And love is waxing cold.
  How long, O Lord our God,
  Holy, and true, and good,
Wilt Thou not judge Thy suffering Church,
  Her sighs, and tears, and blood?

We long to hear Thy voice,
  To see Thee face to face,
To share Thy crown and glory then,
  As now we share Thy grace.
  Should not the loving bride
  Her absent bridegroom mourn?
Should she not wear the signs of grief
  Until her Lord return?

The whole creation groans,
  And waits to hear that voice
That shall her beauteousness restore,
  And make her wastes rejoice.
  Come, Lord, and wipe away
  The curse, the sin, the stain,
And make this blighted world of ours
  Thine own fair world again.



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