My Days are Gliding Swiftly By Lyrics
Author: David Nelson
1 My days are gliding swiftly by,
And I, a pilgrim stranger,
Would not detain them as the fly,
Those hours of toil and danger.
For now we stand on Jordan’s strand;
Our friends are passing over;
And just before the shining shore
We may almost discover.
2 We’ll gird our loins, my brethren dear,
Our heav’nly home discerning;
Our absent Lord has left us word,
Let ev’ry lamp be burning. [Refrain]
3 Should coming days be cold and dark,
We need not cease our singing;
That perfect rest naught can molest,
Where golden harps are ringing. [Refrain]
4 Let sorrow’s rudest tempest blow,
Each chord on earth to sever,
Our King says “Come!” and there’s our home,
Forever, and forever, [Refrain]
My Days are Gliding Swiftly By Hymn Story
This hymn, “My days are gliding swiftly by” was composed by Reverend David Nelson while fleeing from his furious neighbors.
Reverend David Nelson was an ordained minister who at one point owned a plantation and slaves in America. One day he heard an address that convinced him to change his views on slavery.
He sold his plantation and freed his slaves declaring that he would rather live on potatoes and salt rather than own slaves. His denunciation of slavery irked his neighbors that he had to flee his home.
He was hunted like an animal in the woods and swamps by gun-toting neighbors until he reached the banks of the Mississippi river. He then sent a message to friends on the other side of the river and hid in the bushes until nightfall. His pursuers came near him but could not discover him.
Lyng there gazing at the gliding waters and the land of safety on the other side he wrote this hymn on the back of a letter which he happened to have in his pocket.
His friends on the other side managed to rescue him after crossing over in a canoe pretending to be fishing.
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