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


Samuel Johnson (1822–1882)

THE WILL Divine that woke a waiting time,

With desert cry and Calvary’s cross sublime,

Had equal need on thee its power to prove,

Thou soul of passionate zeal and tenderest love!

O slave devout of burdening Hebrew school,

Proud to fulfil each time-exalted rule,

How broke the illusion of thy swelling wrath

On that meek front of calm, enduring faith!

Then flashed it on thy spirit mightily

That thou hadst spurned a love that died for thee!

And all the pride went down in whelming flood

Of boundless shame and boundless gratitude.

What large atonement that great conscience pays!

For every wounding slight, a psalm of praise;

Unending worship shall the debt consume;

For hours of rage, a life of martyrdom.

Yet in such morning glow, such vital day,

What chilling sense of claim or debt can stay?

O wondrous power of noble love, to free

From binding Law to glorious Liberty!

Dream not that one hath drained the exhaustless sea.

Full pours the tide in widening stream for thee;

Lift for new liberties that conquering sign;

Shatter the severing walls with touch divine!