Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
The Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea
W. A. Newman
    ’TWAS night! still night!
A solemn silence hung upon the scene;
The keen, bright stars shone with unclouded light,
    Calm and serene.
    Hushed was the Tomb!        5
The heavy stone before its entrance lay:
No light broke in upon its silent gloom,
    No starry ray.
    The moonlight beamed;
It hung above that garden, soft and clear,        10
Around the watchful guard its radiance gleamed
    From helm to spear.
    The Tomb was sealed!
The watch patrolled before its entrance lone;
The bright night every passing step revealed;        15
    None neared the stone.
    Midnight had passed;
The stars their lustrous shining had decreased;
And day-break’s earliest light was hastening fast
    In the pale east.        20
    The morning star,
Last in the silent Heaven, withdrew its ray,
And the white dawn spreading its spectre light
    Foretold the day.
    An earthquake’s shock        25
Just at the break of morning shook the ground,
And echoed from that rent and trembling rock
    With startling sound.
    The guards, amazed,
Fell to the earth in wonder and affright;        30
And round the astonished spot in glory blazed
    A sudden Light.
    An Angel there
Descended from the tranquil sky;
The glory of his presence filled the air        35
    He rolled away
From the still Sepulchre the massy stone;
And, watching silent till the risen day,
    He sat thereon.        40
    His garments white,
Shone like the snow in its unsullied sheen;
His face was, like the lightning’s gleaming light
    Dazzlingly seen.
    All, all around        45
Was silence, and suspense, and listening dread;
The stirless watch lay prostrate on the ground,
    Hushed as the dead.
    At break of day
The Saviour burst that Cavern’s stillness deep,        50
Rising in conquest from Death’s shattered sway
    As from a sleep.
    He rose in Power,
In all the strength of Godhead shining bright,
Fresh as that hallowed Morning’s dewy hour        55
    Pure as its Light.
    He rose as God,
Rose as a mighty Victor strong to save,
Breaking Death’s silent chain and unseen rod
    There in the Grave.        60
    He rose on high,
While Angels hung around on soaring wing,
Wresting from the dark Grave its victory,
    From Death its sting.

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