Is there a land where mourners never weep,
Where watchers over the sick no vigils keep;
Afflictions, severed here from kindred souls,
United there, where passing bell ne’er tolls
The knell of life?
There is a land
Where grows the tree of life by God’s command.
Is there a land, where weary man may find
Ease for the body, pleasure for the mind;
Free from anxiety and pressing care
The soul may roam in field divinely fair,
And never faint
Give me your hand;
Helpful, we’ll travel to the better land.
Is there a home for wretchedness and woe,
Where aches, nor grief, nor poverty can gnaw;
Where sin, the parent and the nurse of ill,
Pollutes no joy; but sweetest pleasures fill
Th’ enraptured soul?
There is a home,
And pure felicity beneath its hallow’d dome.
Is there a bower where bleeding hearts may heal,
Nor tears adown the pallid cheek [e’er steal] ;
Where loving, we shall never love amiss,
Or other loving, never lose the bliss,
You ask me where?
Lift up your eyes above – to heaven – ‘tis there!
Lower Darwen, June 5th, 1863. L.S.

Title:The Better Land

Author:L. S.

Publication:The Blackburn Times

Published in:Blackburn

Date:June 13, 1863

Keywords:poverty, religion


This poem poses a series of questions about a mythical ‘better land’ where the worries of poverty, grief and weariness might not hold sway. Its resolution reveals this to be the afterlife. These kinds of call for patience were published throughout the Victorian period but became more common in the region during the Cotton Famine, as the economic situation appeared more and more intractable. – SR