Away from the city, away from the crowd,
Two comrades in sorrow traversed hill and dale;
The gloom of their hearts did their faces enshroud,
And clouds of distress only seemed to prevail.
Alone, as they thought; but a stranger unknown
Inquired thus kindly the cause of their woe:
"Of what are ye talking? Why are ye cast down,
So burdened with care, as thus onward ye go?"
Cleopas thus answered, "A stranger art thou
In Jerusalem, not knowing the things happening there?"
"What things?" asked the stranger, desiring now
Their lips should disclose what had caused their despair.
"Of Jesus of Nazareth, one mighty in deed,
A wonderful prophet; him have they slain.
To Israel's redemption we hoped he would lead,
But why should we hope if hope is in vain?
"Some women who went to the sepulcher say
That angels assured them he's living this hour,
But they did not see him, and try as we may,
It seems a false rumor of glory and power."
The stranger rebuked them ere he would teach
What the prophets portray of Christ's sufferings here.
Their souls were enlivened, but soon they would reach
The village they sought, which too quickly drew near.
The stranger seemed passing, but now they entreat,
"Abide with us here; the day is far spent";
They could not forego yet such fellowship sweet,
And he entered in with them whither they went.
When supper was ready, they sat up to partake
They and the stranger, in whom they delight.
He blessed, as his custom, the bread ere he brake;
They knew it was Jesus! And he vanished from sight.
"Did not our hearts burn within us," now they exclaimed,
"As he taught of himself what the prophets record?
We've seen him, we've heard him, and he is the same:
He is Israel's Messiah, our Savior and Lord!"
We are travelers here on the highway of time,
But he will go with us if we seek him aright.
His strength will support us as upward we climb;
Through his blood we inherit immortality's light.