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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.


Geneviéve M. J. Irons

DEEP in yon garden shade

The Life of all is laid

In death’s calm sleep;

Armed soldiers waiting near,

Amazed and full of fear,

Their vigil keep.

Angels, and stars, and the fair moon above,

Look down in silent awe and reverent love.

Through the dark cypress-trees

The gentle midnight breeze

Sighs a low wail;

Breath from the dewy ground

O’er the green earth around

Spreads a soft veil;

Each glade and valley, mountain, dale and hill,

Echoes the solemn whisper, “Peace, be still.”

Hushed Nature sinks to rest,

And on her Maker’s breast

She falls asleep;

Released from human woes

The Almighty finds repose

In slumber deep;

But saints are watching through the silent night,

In eager patience waiting for the light.

The mother undefiled

Is pondering on her Child,

Now crucified;

And through her tearless dreams

The cross in radiance beams,

Whereon he died.

Bright visions dawn. Behold! the darkness flies,

Resplendent from the grave she sees him rise.

John the Beloved stands by,

Gazing with wondering eye

At Mary’s smile;

And angels at the sight

Pause in their heavenward flight

To muse awhile.

Yet the sun hides itself in dim eclipse,

While he awaits his full apocalypse.

Peter, who thrice denied

The Master at his side,

The Lord of all,

With penitential tears

And deep heart-searching fears,

Bewails his fall.

There, as he weeps in bitter grief apart,

His Saviour’s look speaks comfort to his heart.

The lowly Magdalene

(Of penitents the queen)

Waits for the morn,

When in that cave so still

Her task she may fulfil

Of love forlorn;

And first to her Christ risen will appear,

Though in a form unknown he draweth near.

While he who longed to die

With Christ on Calvary,

Whose love devout

His Master proved and tried

By heartfelt prayer denied,

Must wait in doubt;

Eight days of solemn gloom in darkness past,

On trustful Thomas he will shine at last.

But lo, the Sabbath ends!

Nocturn with matins blends,

The morning breaks;

The shadows flee away

Before the rising day,

And Christ awakes!

Angels proclaim the anthem far and near,

“Ye seek your risen Lord; he is not here.”