Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
St. John the Baptist Beheaded in Prison (I.)
From the Parisian Breviary
 
Translated by Isaac Williams

WHO hither comes from shrines of the dark wood,
  With voice that sternly cries; and as he goes
Hang on his words a growing multitude?
  His is no brow that swells with fancied woes,
  Nurs’d in a palace or a court’s repose:        5
No reed is he which to the moaning gale
Waves its tall shadow in the moonlight pale.
 
For thrice-ten years in desert haunts profound
  He hath been rear’d to holy hardihood,
And the deep wild now hears again the sound        10
  Of her Elijah in the solitude;
  Who with his spirit bold, and might endued
The thunders of God’s law proclaims aloud,
To soldier, Pharisee, and humble crowd.
 
And now admitted to the kingly hall        15
  Unto the subtle tyrant he draws near;
No coward fears the Prophet’s heart appal,
  No courtly favour wins, nor listening ear
  His holy admonitions glad to hear;
But e’en in kingly ears, severe and free,        20
He warning speaks of foul adultery.
 
To Thee, O God, the Father, Spirit, Son,
  To Thee, O holy, holy, holy Three,
To Thee, O blessed Three, O awful One,
  O Thou who dwellest in eternity,        25
  All love, all might, all glory be to Thee,
A sacrifice to Thee our hearts we raise,
Make Thou them meet to sing Thine endless praise.
 
 
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