The Ecstasy of Living [poem by Agnes Neale]

[Editor: This poem by Agnes Neale was published in Shadows and Sunbeams (1890).]

The Ecstasy of Living.

Oh, the ecstasy of living!
Oh, the joy of drawing breath!
There is no such thing as dying,
There is no such word as death.

All the world is glad with beauty,
All the skies are fair and bright;
All the hills are robed in glory,
Trimmed with green, and crowned with light.

Oh, those hills! how much I love them,
Rising proudly to the skies;
Looking like the steps to heaven
To my weary, earth-worn eyes.

Oh, those hills! their rugged reaches
Softly whisper God’s good name;
Nay, they thunder forth “Jehovah!”
And the world’s attention claim.

There they stand in all their grandeur,
Like the prophets of old time,
Lifted high above the human;
Matchless, wonderful, sublime!

Ah! but still we feel them kindred
When we see the fresh grass grow;
When we see the bright-hued flower bells
On their stern cold bosoms blow.

Flowers that grow and bloom in beauty,
Decking with bright gems the sod;
Smiling up from rock and hillside,
Like the promises of God.

For just so the good God-Father
Strews His blessings on life’s way,
So that even roughest mountains
With the flowers of hope are gay.

Oh, ye hills! ye grand old mountains,
Towering up toward the skies,
Draw by your majestic beauty
Up to God our weary eyes.

Oh, ye strong clear winds of heaven
Rush and blow with all your might;
Sweep our souls on your free pinions
To the land of life and light —

To the land where all are living,
Where they draw immortal breath;
Where there comes no thought of dying,
Where there falls no shade of death.

Oh, the ecstasy of living
Where eternal seas have met!
Where the darkness never falleth,
Where the sun shall never set!

Oh, the ecstasy of living
In a land beyond the skies!
Where the beauty is immortal,
Where the glory never dies!

Agnes Neale, Shadows and Sunbeams, Adelaide: Burden & Bonython, 1890, pages 85-87

Editor’s notes:
pinion = a bird’s wing; in more specific usage, the outer section of a bird’s wing; in broader usage, “pinions” refers to the wings of a bird (“pinion” may also refer specifically to a feather, especially a flight feather, or a quill)

Old spelling in the original text:
falleth (falls)

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