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The Return Home (a.k.a. Safe Home, Safe Home in Port)

attributed to either
Joseph of the Studium
Joseph the Hymnographer
(c. 810 – c. 883)
translated by
John Mason Neale

Safe home, safe home in port!
—Rent cordage, shattered deck,
Torn sails, provisions short,
And only not a wreck:
But oh! the joy upon the shore
To tell our voyage-perils o’er!

The prize, the prize secure!
The athlete nearly fell;
Bore all he could endure,
And bore not always well:
But he may smile at troubles gone
Who sets the victor-garland on!

No more the foe can harm,
No more of leaguered camp,
And cry of night-alarm,
And need of ready lamp;
And yet how nearly he had failed—
How nearly had that foe prevailed!

The lamb is in the fold
In perfect safety penned;
The lion once had hold,
And thought to make an end;
But One came by with Wounded Side,
And for the sheep the Shepherd died.

The exile is at Home!
O nights and days of tears,
O longings not to roam,
O sins, and doubts, and fears—
What matter now (when so men say)
The King has wiped those tears away?

O happy, happy Bride!
Thy widowed hours are past,
The Bridegroom at thy side,
Thou all His own at last!
The sorrows of thy former cup
In full fruition swallowed up!


To discover more hymns, visit our growing list of Powerful Poetry.


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