When they found not His body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that He was alive. Luke 24:23
All ye that seek the Lord who died,
Your God for sinners crucified,
Prevent the earliest dawn, and come
To worship at His sacred tomb.
Bring the sweet spices of your sighs,
Your contrite hearts, and streaming eyes,
Your sad complaints, and humble fears;
Come, and embalm Him with your tears.
While thus ye love your souls t’employ,
Your sorrow shall be turned to joy:
Now, let all your grief be o’er!
Believe, and ye shall weep no more.
An earthquake hath the cavern shook,
And burst the door, and rent the rock;
The Lord hath sent His angel down,
And he hath rolled away the stone.
As snow behold his garment white,
His countenance as lightning bright:
He sits, and waves a flaming sword,
And waits upon his rising Lord.
The third auspicious morn is come,
And calls your Savior from the tomb,
The bands of death are torn away,
The yawning tomb gives back its prey.
Could neither seal nor stone secure,
Nor men, nor devils make it sure?
The seal is broke, the stone cast by,
And all the powers of darkness fly.
The body breathes, and lifts His head,
The keepers sink, and fall as dead;
The dead restored to life appear,
The living quake, and die for fear.
No power a band of soldiers have
To keep one body in its grave:
Surely it no dead body was
That could the Roman eagles chase.
The Lord of Life is risen indeed,
To death delivered in your stead;
His rise proclaims your sins forgiv’n,
And show the living way to Heav’n.
Haste then, ye souls that first believe,
Who dare the Gospel-Word receive,
Your faith with joyful hearts confess,
Be bold, be Jesus’ witnesses.
Go tell the followers of your Lord
Their Jesus is to life restored;
He lives, that they His life may find;
He lives, to quicken all mankind.
It was a night of calls and far replies,
A night of trembling for that Serpent head
In gulfs that were before the eldest dead—
A night of whispering haste along the skies,
Prayer, and a wondering down of seraph eyes;
While stilled Jerusalem, washed in the moon’s light,
Lay like a brood of sepulchers, ghost-white.
The dark was dying silverly, that strange,
Still hour when Earth is falling toward the day—
That hour of spacious silence and delay
When all things pose upon the hinge of change.
The guardsmen had grown silent on their round,
Their fire was sinking, when a crash of sound—
Darkness—a reel of Earth—a rush of light—
Cleft rocks—then scent of aloes on the night!
Their faces turned to faces of the dead,
Their spears fell clamoring terribly as they fled.
And He stood risen in the guarded place,
With empire in His gesture—on His face
The hush of muted music and the might
That drew the stars down on the ancient night.
Tall in the first-light, mystical and pale,
He stood as one who dares and cannot fail,
As some high conscript of the Bright Abodes,
As one still called to travel on the wild roads
In Love’s divine adventure—His white face
Hushed with heroic purpose for the race;
Yet wistful of the men who should deny Him,
And wistful of the years that should belie Him.
With peace of heart the blind world could not break,
He took a path the young leaves keep awake.
Glad of the day come back and loving all,
He passed across the morning, felt the cool,
Sweet, kindling air blown upward from the pool
A burning bush was reddening by the wall;
An oleander bough was full of stirs,
Struck by the robes of unseen messengers.
The hills broke purpling, as the sun’s bright edge
Pushed slowly up behind a rocky ledge:
The hovering dome of the Temple, gray and cold,
Burned out with sudden, unexpected gold.
A light wind silvered up the olive slope,
And all the world was wonder and wild hope!
The Shoes of Happiness and Other Poems, 1921