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THE GOLDEN CITY.
OW I saw in my dream that by this time the pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced them there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day; wherefore it was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of reach of the Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the city they were going to, also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof, for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of heaven. In this land, also, the contract between the bride and bridegroom was renewed; yea, here, “as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so did their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city-loud voices-saying, "Say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold thy salvation cometh. Behold, his reward is with him!" Here all the inhabitants of the country called them "the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out," &c.
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and drawing nearer to the city yet, they had a more perfect view thereof: it was built of pearls and precious stones; also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the city, and the reflections of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick; Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease: wherefore here they lay by it for a little while, crying out, because of their pangs, "If you see my beloved, tell him that I am sick of love."
But being a little strengthened, and better able to bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens; and their gates opened into the highway. Now as they came up to these places, behold the gardener stood
in the way, to whom the pilgrims said: Whose goodly vineyards and gardens are these? He answered, They are the king's, and are planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims: so the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves with dainties; he also showed them there the king's walks and arbours, where he delighted to be; and here they tarried and slept.
Now I beheld in my dream that they talked more in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey; and being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou on the matter? It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak.
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the great city. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the city, for the city was of pure gold, was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold; also their faces shone as the light.
These men asked the pilgrims whence they came. They also asked them where they had lodged, what difficulties and dangers, what comforts and pleasures, they had met with in the way; and they told them. Then said the men that met them, You have but two difficulties more to meet with, and then you are in the city.
Christian and his companion then asked the men to go along with them; so they told them that they would. But, said they, you must obtain it by your own faith. So I saw in my dream that they went on together till they came in sight of the gate.
Now, I further saw that betwixt them and the gate was a river, but there was no bridge to go over, and the river was very deep. At the sight, therefore, of this river, the pilgrims were much stunned; but the men that went with them said, You must go through, or you cannot come to the gate.
The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate. To which they answered, Yes, but there hath not any, save two, to wit, Enoch and Elijah, been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world, nor shall, until the last trumpet shall sound. The pilgrims then, especially Christian, began to despond in their minds, and looked this way and that; but no way could be found by them by which
they might escape the river. Then they asked the men if the waters were all of a depth. They said, No; yet they could not help them in that case; for, said they, you shall find it deeper or shallower, as you believe in the king of the place.
They then addressed themselves to the water, and, entering, Christian began to sink, and crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, I sink in deep. waters the billows go over my head; all the waters go over me. Selah.
Then said the other, Be of good cheer, my brother; I feel the bottom, and it is good. Then said Christian, Ah! my friend, the sorrow of death hath encompassed me about; I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey. And with that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian, so that he could not see before him. Also here, in a great measure, he lost his senses, so that he could neither remember nor orderly talk of any of those sweet refreshments that he had met with in the way of his pilgrimage. . . . . Then I saw in my dream that Christian was in a muse a while. To whom, also, Hopeful added these words, Be of good cheer; Jesus Christ maketh thee whole and with that Christian brake out with a loud voice, Oh! I see him again, and he tells me, "When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee." Then they both took courage; and the enemy was after that as still as a stone, until they were gone over. Christian, therefore, presently found ground to stand upon, and so it followed that the rest of the river was but shallow, but thus they got over.
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
Bells, bells, bells
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
How they ring out their delight!
What a liquid ditty floats.
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!
Hear the loud alarum bells
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
How they scream out their affright!
They can only shriek, shriek,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavour,
Now now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon,
How they clang, and clash and roar!
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows;
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells;
Of the bells—
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,