W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.
The AdventElizabeth Clementine Kinney (18101889)
Had died the harsh echo of clangorous war;
The heart of the nations from tumult reposed,
The long opened temple of Janus was closed.
The harp of the minstrel lay still and unstrung;
The shepherds together sat watching the fold,
While round them reigned darkness and silence and cold.
Shot suddenly through the still heart of the night?
What melody startles her silent domain,
Awaking the echo from mountain to plain?
Yet the light that conceals them is not like the sun;
It moves with the swiftness of wings, it descends,
While its luminous track the strange music attends!
The blood of the shepherds congeals in their veins;
They speak not, but heart unto heart beats aloud,
While glory envelops them all as a cloud.
Quick vanishes fear at the radiant sight!
And hark, in the words of their own native tongue,
‘Good tidings of joy’ by the angel are sung!
A Saviour, whose birth is redemption’s glad morn;
No longer through darkness and doubt shall ye grope,
In Bethlehem’s manger lies Israel’s Hope!’
The glorious news to the meek shepherds given,—
‘Peace, peace and good-will unto earth!’ is their song,
While praises to God the loud pæan prolong.
But lo, there ariseth a Star in the East;
O’er the manger it stands in its glory alone,—
The despot beholds it, while trembles his throne.
That circles the brow of the heavenly Child!
That cradle where Innocence sleeps is his dread,
And Guilt feels the doom that hangs over his head.
Predicted and seen by the prophets afar,
Now points with its beams to the place of His birth
Whose kingdom shall rule all the kingdoms of earth.