W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.
Christ in the SepulchreJohn Keble (17921866)
Deep in Thy darksome bed:
All still and cold beneath yon dreary stone
Thy sacred form is gone;
Around those lips where power and mercy hung,
The dews of death have clung;
The dull earth o’er Thee, and Thy foes around,
Thou sleep’st a silent corse, in funeral fetters wound.
At large among the dead?
Whether in Eden bowers Thy welcome voice
Wake Abraham to rejoice,
Or in some drearier scene Thine eye controls
The thronging band of souls;
That, as Thy blood won earth, Thine agony
Might set the shadowy realm from sin and sorrow free.
Seen at Thy side in woe
Waits on Thy triumph—even as all the blest
With him and Thee shall rest.
Each on his cross, by Thee we hang a while,
Watching Thy patient smile,
Till we have learned to say, “’Tis justly done,
Only in glory, Lord, Thy sinful servant own.”
To rest one little hour,
Till thine elect are numbered, and the grave
Call Thee to come and save:
Then on Thy bosom borne shall we descend,
Again with earth to blend,
Earth all refin’d with bright supernal fires,
Tinctur’d with holy blood, and wing’d with pure desires.
Along the glorious line,
Sitting by turns beneath Thy sacred feet
We’ll hold communion sweet,
Know them by look and voice, and thank them all
For helping us in thrall,
For words of hope, and bright examples given
To show through moonless skies that there is light in heaven.
Earth shall resign her part,
When in the grave with Thee my limbs shall rest,
My soul with Thee be blest!
But stay, presumptuous—Christ with thee abides
In the rock’s dreary sides:
He from the stone will wring celestial dew
If but the prisoner’s heart be faithful found and true.
With ghosts of blessings gone,
Think thou art taken from the Cross, and laid
In Jesus’ burial shade;
Take Moses’ rod, the rod of prayer, and call
Out of the rocky wall
The fount of holy blood: and lift on high
Thy grovelling soul that feels so desolate and dry.
In hope of promis’d spring.
As in the pit his father’s darling lay
Beside the desert way
And knew not how, but knew his God would save
E’en from that living grave,
So buried with our Lord, will close our eyes
To the decaying world, till Angels bid us rise.