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.
 
The Shadow of the Star
Gerard Moultrie (1829–1885)
 
  SABÆAN odours load the air;
    See myrrh as though for burial brought;
  The flash of royal gold is there,
    But where is he for whom ’tis sought?
Behold him on the spotless virgin’s knee,        5
The Priest, the Man, the Monarch, lo! ’tis He.
 
  Mother of Christ! the eastern star
    Shines brightly on the humble shed
  Where wise Chaldeans, led from far,
    Bend low before the Infant head;        10
The priestly arms spread forth to bless e’en now
Steadfast to win the crown, by death, the brow.
 
  Mother of sorrows! mark the word,
    And ponder it within thy heart,
  Through thine own soul shall pierce the sword        15
    Ere God full knowledge shall impart;
Then shalt thou see with re-awakened eye
The signs, worked out, of the Epiphany.
 
  Upon the great Good Friday morn
    Thy Son in royal guise shall stand        20
  With purple robe, and crown of thorn,
    And sceptred reed in His right hand.
When these things come to pass, look up! behold
The first great sign worked out,—the gift of gold.
 
  When priestly arms on Calvary’s crest        25
    In intercession wide are spread,
  And to that blessing from their rest
    Hades sends forth the sainted dead,
The second gift behold—see heavenward rise
Atoning incense of the sacrifice.        30
 
  The soul has fled; the vexed limbs sleep,
    O’er both the Godhead spreads its span:
  Bring myrrh and spices; vigil keep
    Over the archetypal man:
With eyes of awful love and bated breath,        35
Lady! behold the myrrh,—the type of death.
 
  In mystic number, vested white,
    The presbyters around the throne
  Cast down their crowns of golden light,
    Their Maker and their Lord to own;        40
“For he is worthy of all praise,” they sing,
“Of heaven and earth, Creator, Lord and King.”
 
  Unchangeable the priesthood’s vow
    Which this man, pure from human stain,
  Yet man in all things, offers now,        45
    Himself for sin the victim slain.
At last the threefold gifts in one concur,
Here blend the gold, the frankincense, the myrrh.
 
 
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