Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
“When the Day of Pentecost Was Fully Come”
Edward Hayes Plumptre (1821–1891)
AS yet it had not come,
The eager soul was dumb,
    Hot thoughts oppressed;
They could not yet pour out
Joy’s free, exulting shout,        5
    Must wait and rest.
Long hours of strange suspense,
The strain of hope intense,
    So passed the days;
Wild dreams their fancies fill,        10
High thoughts their spirits thrill,
    Unspoken praise.
By day the Temple’s throng,
The Levites’ surging Song,
    The chanted Psalm;        15
At eve the upper room,
Bread broken in the gloom,
    The converse calm.
They question when the hour
Would bring the Spirit’s power        20
    And all be plain;
When, through the opened sky,
Day’s dawning should be nigh,
    Their loss be gain.
At last the moment came,        25
The cloven tongues of flame
    Disparting fell;
The rushing, mighty wind,
Thrilling through sense and mind,
    And all was well.        30
Then silent lips, unsealed,
The soul’s deep thoughts revealed,
    In full strong speech;
The stammering tongue spake plain,
And thoughts once wild and vain        35
    Were clear to teach.
Bursting with thunder crash,
Blazing with lightning flash,
    The Spirit came;
Dread whirl of tempest blast,        40
Rapture that might not last,
    The tongues of flame.
Transports of passion high,
Wild burst of ecstasy,
    Till then unknown;        45
Songs such as Angels pour,
When they their Lord adore
    Around the Throne.
Strange speech of every land,
That none might understand,        50
    And few divine;
So they from opened lips
Poured joy’s apocalypse,
    Drunk, not with wine.
So gave they witness then        55
To all the sons of men,
    From East and West;
That now in every tongue
God’s great praise should be sung,
    His name be blest.        60
Clear token so they gave
To all men, free or slave,
    That they might share
The Spirit’s power to raise
Cold hearts to heights of praise,        65
    Full glow of prayer.

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