Crossing The Bar

Last night on YouTube, I was watching a medical doctor describe her own deadly kayaking accident, detailing the death she experienced before returning to life. I don’t have a fascination with death, but when every day is filled with brutal images of mayhem, there’s a part of me that's comforted by those who tell us there’s something beautiful and enduring on the other side awaiting those who “cross the bar.”

“Crossing the Bar” is a poem Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote in 1889 as he faced a life-threatening illness aboard a ship sailing out at sea. The entire poem, written from a place of hope, is a metaphor for the journey he would take, moving from this life into the next, where he’d come face to face with his “Pilot,” God.

This Sunday, for my continuing pledge “Listening For Peace,” I’m posting Tennyson’s poem as he penned it below a touching live performance of Crossing the Bar set to music by Rani Arbo, and sung by the Laudate Mennonite Choir.


Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea;

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.


Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for choosing this song.

Well Street

From his lyrics, Tennyson was at peace with his life potentially ending, believing something wonderful waited for him on the other side.

Another beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing.