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Philip James Bailey (Филип Джеймс Бэйли)

Festus - 1

Behold us spiritwise in heaven; unite
In angel worship of the infinite God
World destinative. Evil, all tempting, man
Maligned, God vindicates himself, and prove
Earth bettering through all ages, best the last;
Ill's double attack permits, and names the strife
Testful of evil and good that all shall close.
The kind sweet offices hear of angel guard;
The privileged joys of chosen souls, which choose
Themselves, in God, all goodness; how perdures
The spirit premortal and perfectible; awed,
The final doom of things terrestrial, learn.
Yet while from time's broad chart the accumulate dust
Sweeping of vast eternity, and to heaven
Opening his boon design, God all foreshows
Accomplished, grieves one angel still; 'tis Earth's.
An outline this of world--life which begun,
Will end, and rightly, in heaven, and with God:
God, too, i' the midst, substantive of the whole.

Heaven. Deity. The Angelic Hierarchy Guardian Angel. Angel of Earth. Lucifer.
God. Eternity hath snowed its years upon them;
And the white winter of their age is come;
The world, and all its worlds; and all shall end.

Seraphim, worshipping. God! God! God!
As flames in skies
We burn and rise,
And lose ourselves in thee;
Years on years,
And nought appears
Save God to be.
To us no thought
Hath Being brought
Towards thee that doth not move.
Years on years,
And what appears
Save God to love?
All thou dost make
Lies like a lake
Below thine infinite eye;
Years on years,
And all appears
Save God, to die.

Cherubim. As sun and star,
How high or far,
Show but a boundless sky,
So creature mind
Is all confined
To show thee, God most high.
The sun still burns,
The sun still turns
Round, round himself, and round
So creature mind,
To self's confined,
But thou, God, hast no bound.
Systems arise,
Or a world dies,
Each constant hour in air;
But creature mind,
In heaven confined,
Lives on, like thee, God, there.

Seraphim and Cherubim. Thou fill'st our eyes
As were the skies,
One burning, boundless sun;
While creature mind,
In path confined,
Passeth, a spot thereon.
God! God! God!

Angel of Earth. I hear the beat of a strange, strong wing in heaven,
Wild, inharmonious. Now it nears the throne.
It is the spirit of evil. Woe is me!
Woe to the earth, to man. What seeks he here?

Lucifer. Ye thrones of heaven, how bright ye are, how pure!
How have ye brightened since I saw ye first;
How have I darkened since ye saw me last!
What 'vails hell's murk abyss of fire, that cave
Loathsome, of falsest oracles, where Ill's host
Endure, inflict, or plot perdition; what,
Air's ravenous heights I reign over, and roam
Wreckful, tempestuous, with all lackeying plagues
Vaporously impomped; in self--wrought agony, I
The while, misglorying 'gainst these seats serene,
On good based; with the incense canopied
Of universal worship, echoing, round
Heaven's templed dome, God's sun--words, lifeful aye?
Yet must I work through world and life my fate;
And winding through the wards of human hearts,
Steal their incarnate strength. Death does his work
In secret and in joy intense, untold;
As though an earthquake smacked its mumbling lips
O'er some thick--peopled city. But for me
Exists not peace nor pleasure, even here,
Where all beside, the very faintest thought,
Is rapture. I will speak to God, as erst;
If wrong, no matter. Wrong's mine instinct now.
Father of spirit, as is the sun of air;
Beginning of all ends, end of all means
Essential, through the infinite whole; in whom
Eternity, and all other attribute
Perfect, of pure cause self--existent, is;
Originator without all origin; end
Without end; precreator of all ages;
Being, above all being, God the life;
Maker and perfector of all, the one;
Thou too the way wherein the world proceeds
From God, all making, and whereby returns
The ever--generated universe; thou
Who all worlds rulest in the law of light,
Thy nature and their own; who art before
All ages, angels blessèd times and worlds;
Primal humanity of the Deity, self
Unfolding, emanant first of natures pure;
And thou the Eternal Spirit of Deity
Sole sanctifier of things created; thou
By whom, in part communion, separate soul
Identifies its source with God, and ones
Being and life and spirit; who all dost make,
Destroyest, recreatest, makest God,
God, one and trine, thou seest me here again;
Still, sunlike, though eclipsed, of blinding power,
And fiery cause, and everness of ill;
Behold, I bow before thee. Hear thou me.

God. What wouldst thou, Lucifer?

Lucifer. The world--apple
Shows dead ripe. It wants plucking. Touch it thou,
Or I, and lo! the poor perfection falls.

God. What may to thee seem perfect, here in heaven
Far other showeth.

Lucifer. Man through ignorance, first,
And need of knowing, fell. Now, grown so wise,
He thinks he lacketh nothing; no, not God.
Science so self--sufficient shows, she makes
Each day such vast advances through the world
Inly and outwardly, that even now she aims
Thee to dethrone; and miracles all disproven
As fabulous breaches of eternal law,
Not now nor ever possible, men to teach
Her own more marvellous worship, and thenceforth
Herself aye deify.

God. All things to know
Subordinate even to law, precludes not faith
Towards one who every law first made, first willed.

Lucifer. Faith I have missed from earth this many an age.
Faith! Is she here?

God. Faith is both there and here;
Participant of divine ubiquity.
Thy knowledge is defective. Still on earth
Are those who, knowing most, the most believe.

Lucifer. More like myself, who, knowing much, most doubt.

God. Perfected from the first by grace divine
The heaven--born spirit and pre--immortal, fraught
With luminous fulness, though a moment dimmed
By sin, not tarnished, knowledge conciliates
With wisdom; both with faith. Were I once more,
Future as passed to test by proof of one,
Or many, thou'dst fail as heretofore.

Lucifer. How fail?
I deemed me passably successful there,
In Eden once, and everywhere, since then,
Where'er man's heart hath planned his Paradise.

God. To finite mind, divergent from the light
Eterne, it doubtless seems so, But in sight
Of spirits who stand concentric with all truth,
Howbeit of bounded gaze, like these thy peers,
Who loved thee once, loved, monished, mourned in vain,
Thy failure shows foreordered and complete.

Lucifer. God I oppose; must, can opposal fail
If foreordained? Then he appoints his own
Failure in mine. Such failure seems success.
Nought see I more. Can any further see?
Let me accept the test. Or blessed, or cursed,
All seems indifferent now, with thirst of power,
Love, lore divine and human of all time,
Been, being, or to be, nought made can quench,
Save waters of celestial life which flow
Hence, sunwards ever, a youth among the sons
Of men, there is, I fain would have, given up
Wholly to me.

God. I know him. He is thine
To tempt.

Lucifer. I thank thee, Lord.

God. Upon his soul
Thou hast no absolute power. All souls be mine
For aye.

Lucifer. This means still, I may so torment
With dubiety his conscience, ruining all
Godward assurance; so with pleasures ply
Passions and creatural vanities, his heart
Trained downwards; with world--wisdom, and profound
Knowledge of surfaces, so his spirit corrupt;
Make proud with gifts stupendous; with all use
Of mundane power inordinate, and forepledge
Of superhuman privileges, his soul,
That,--be it! I leave to thee the absolute.

God. And I give thee leave to this that he may know
My love than all his sin more; and to himself
While proving nought save God can satisfy
The soul he maketh great, prove both to thee,
And to the world, faith peer of knowledge.

Guardian Angel. Thanks
For this, Lord! endless thanks and ceaseless praise.
To know at hand truth's trial, trust in thee
Strengtheneth; and proof of principle perfects
Man's noblest resolutions for his own
Or the world's weal, here, blessedly, at one.

Lucifer. Thou, God, art all in one. Thine infinite
Bounds being. Thou hast said the world shall end.
The world is perfect as concerns itself,
And all its parts and ends; not as towards thee.
So man, unlikest, likest God of all
Existence, thee resembleth as act, mind.
In him of whom I ask, I seek once more
To tempt the living world; and then depart.

God. Time ceaseth. All the thousands of the chosen
Called, counted, all the innumerous hosts of souls
Of ages passed, their self--conditioned doom
Fulfilling, hear, ye heavenly, on earth's end,
And man's, my judgment. Mark this mortal soul,
Many a long lustre working out his own
Election, with success most variable,
As seems; all souls else struggling in the flesh,
Alike with him, shall, by one choiceful act
Contemporary with nature's end, their fate
Freely decide; and in faith's final fight,
Spiritual, sole blessed, their meet reward attain.
Who fail, fail not to expiate pains most just,
Be sure, ere I, long--suffering, too, forgive.
Who rightly choose make heaven; bliss instant theirs;
Bliss ever. So shall mercy neither tax
Grave justice with inequitable extremes;
Nor justice mercy lawless call, e'ermore.

Guardian Angel. Oh! who hath joy like mine,--joy first by me
Felt, when in dim eternity, far back,
From out thy boundless bosom, as a star
In the air, that soul was kindled, Lord, and given
To me through every age of world--life gone,
To guard and guide; the while by spheral strains
Amidst heaven's depths hailed, we both at thy feet fell
In worship? joy of joys, now, e'er assured.

Lucifer. Vaunt not thyself nor aught too hastily.

Guardian Angel. Peace
To you ye saints and angels let me speak;
For ye, I see, rejoice with me. Ye know
What 'tis to triumph o'er temptation; what
To fall before it; how the young spirit faints;
The virgin tremor, the heart's ebb and flow,
When first some vast temptation calmly comes
And states itself before the unequal soul,
For conflict not prepared; prepared not even
To entertain its semblance; as the sun
Low looming in the west, startles the wave
Of whimpling brook, which yet, its waters grown
Aortal 'mongst earth's veins, shall mainward pour
The riverine flood; full many a broadening league
Of land o'ermantled. Than the Tempter's self
Can be no greater peril. Less the shame
Of yielding, more the glory of conquering,
In him, this soul elect, of Ill so sought.
Expert of time's accumulated tests
Till now, earth given, his crowning trial comes;
With mine, I trust, his triumph. Know, ye saints,
From infancy through childhood up to youth
Have I this soul attended; marked him blessed
With all life's sweet and sacred ties; the love
Prayerful of parents, pride of friends, health, ease,
Prosperity, social converse with the good,
The gifted, and a heart all lit with love,
Like a summer sea aflow with living light.
Hopeful and generous and earnest; rich
In commerce with high spirits of all time,
Knowledge and truth for their own divinest selves
Loving; earth's deeds of glory tracking, now;
Now conning wisdom's words, as, heaven inspired,
In bright effectual ray the mind they tinge
Of bard or sage, thenceforth for ever fixed.
Morning and eve he,--as some hermit rock
All earth's lone outguard, daily of the sea
Takes baptism, and in the elemental rite,
While over its head the tidal function pours
Full--handed, gladdens; he, so, to serve his race
And strengthen him for best aims, in praise and prayer
Constant, for good asked, granted bliss, with heaven
Joyed in commune. Thus, fraught with peace his days
And studious nights, star--armied, or moon--crowned,
In good, in joy, all radiantly elapsed;
His grateful heart opening to the Lord of life
Our spiritual sun, flowerwise. All this, long while
I marked. A slow but palpable change at length
His spirit eclipsed, from what o'ershadowing sphere
Showed not to me; and I a fall from good
Fatal and final feared.

Lucifer. Regard me, friend.
Deem'st thou I roam the earth for nothing now?

Guardian Angel. An aching wish to know the world, I knew
Lorded, latewhile, his spirit; ambition, love,
Eldest of things, that dawn life of the soul,
Youth's passionate pleasures and frivolities, all,
Had thrown cross--lights, and dazed his once so clear
Purview of life. Life's simple aims lacked zest.
God's love seemed lost upon him. Oh! he grew
Heart--deadened. Watching, warning vain, I fled
Hither to intercede with God our Lord
To bless him with salvation. Plead we may
Always for those we love, by leave divine.
And now thou summ'st all bounties, Lord! in him
Choosing as test of human faithfulness,
My ward, my charge. But, Lord! thou knowest the mould
Of mortals, and the infinite end the souls
Thou savest are all predestined to in heaven.
So be thy mercy mighty to this soul
Fiend--threatened; nor permit him, who presides
O'er hell's eternal holocaust, too far
To tempt or tamper with man's mutable heart.

God. My mercy doth all outstretch the universe.
Shall it suffice not for one soul?

Lucifer. God's wrath
Am I to myself; and for that wrath inheres
In evil, am by him made to do my part.
Angel, do thou thine: they be far enough

Guardian Angel. Are the heaven--strung chords of man's
Immortal spirit for thee to wreck at will?
Bear witness all ye blessèd to the word,
Angels, intelligences, the sons of God;
Ye who know nought but truth; nought feel but love;
Save bliss, will nought; nought do save righteousness;
Whose life was ere the heavens were yet conceived,
The stars begotten, or all the ages born;
Ye first who move all heavens, in whose great names
God's name is rooted deepliest, though it live
Germwise in all light's hierarchies; the crown,
Of Deity; wisdom; and the intelligence;
Kindness and strength and beauty, splendour, worth,
Original and rule; and numbered, known
Below by mystic seer of old, inspired,
Ye many ordered sanctities, God's love,
God's truth, God's justice; majesty his, his might,
His dominance; glory, knowledge, bliss; all God's;--
And ye who, restless mid perpetual peace,
Move watchful round the throne, ye burning seven;
The virtue, power, salvation, fire and rest,
Blessing and praise of God; ye all who rule
Regions, states, kingdoms, races, families, tribes,
Times, ages, seasons and cycles; elements,
Systems and influences; material powers
Mental and spiritual; ye too who bear
Souls from the heavens to earth, from earth to heaven;
Or ye whose life 'tis to present all souls
Reborn to their Creator; or the skies
Golden--globed search for junctures grace may bless;
Ye through whose ministry of mercy, his
Immediate, all sustaining, spirits and worlds
Are governed and made blessed; ye who, the throne
Sought, stirless stand, joy--tranced, and on your Lord
Gaze, and in gazing gain divinity; ye
Glad tenants all of the archetypal worlds,
And spheres intelligible; and you, ye spirits
Freed once on earth into the privilege born
Of grace, God crowns all soul--redeemed with; yours
Are the multitudes of testful stars; yours power
For aye; progressive joy; ye are gods, and live,
Divine, with God; bear witness all, that not
More surely bliss with godliness dwells and ones,
Than that, even spite of sin, man's purblind race
Might, and they would, with you, while awed and raised,
Recognise in time's scenes, though cloud--belts bar,
In provident mystery, half its burning disk,
The o'erruling power, through miracle tempering law,
Which by our creature purposes worketh out
Its deeds, and by our own deeds its purposes.

Angels. Devoted spirit, proceed; bloom forth in act.
The powers of heaven are with thee, and with vast
Consent accept thy true, thy just appeal.

Lucifer. God, for thy glory only it is I act,
And for thy creatures' good. If lightning smite not,
Nor serpent fang to achieve thy bounteous ends,
I have lost since here the clue of things. Meanwhile
The more of death--chilled venom one can pour
Transfusive into careless nature's veins,
The more, mayhap, thou wouldst. When creatures stray
Farthest from thee, then warmest towards them burns
Thy love, even as yon sun--star hotliest beams
On earth, when distant most, or seems.

God. The earth
This soul indwells, this grain chose from life's sands,
Dies with him; fine and sum of miracles, this;
That spirit the most incredulous, demon, man,
May know, who all doth, all sustains, can all
Undo; and every law sphere--based, withdrawn;
Each act of legislature divine, revised
Perfective, by all Being's great Head, the whole
Even yet may wholly cease.

Lucifer. Lord! now go I
To do thy will. So, he I have lighted on, seems
Of the forechosen. But will their fate involve
All men's? And if all man's, creation's, too?
Knew I but this infallibly, not I
Would thwart God's purposes, nor seek to wage
War bootless with the Eternal of the heavens.

Guardian Angel. Spirit depart, the secrets of the skies,
God's counsels, it is not meet thou learn nor share.

Lucifer. All wisdom speaks his will; all substance waits,
All power performs; all spirits his ends fulfil.

God. Hearing he understands not that he hears,
Nor seeing sees. Nought wists he perfectly
Who loves not God.

Lucifer. Heaven's oracles in heaven
Speechless, still doubt I.

God. Who doubts only, exists
Vainliest. Thou, too, who watchest o'er the world
Whose end I fix, prepare to have it judged.

Angel of Earth. Lord! let me not then have watched o'er it in vain.
From age to age I have hoped, from hour to hour
It would better grow, grow holier; hope so still.
Better it is than once--hath more of mind,
Freedom, good willingness; man's more man than erst.
I love it more than ever. Thou gavest it me
As a child ward. To me earth is as even
To thee the boundless universe; nay, more,
For thou couldst make another. It is my world.
Take it not from me, Lord! Thou Son of God,
Divine ideal of pure humanity, word
Whereby the eternal Reason with itself,
And with the world communes; word, safe to save
All spirits impregned of Spirit Deific, thou
Madest it the altar, whereon thou offeredst up
Thyself for the creation. Let it be
Immortal as thy love. And altars are
Holy; and sister angels, sister orbs
Hail it afar so titled. Oh! I have seen
World questioned, comforting world; yes, seen them weep
Each other, if but for one red hour eclipsed.
And of all worlds most generous was mine own,
The tenderest and the fairest.

Lucifer. Knowest thou not
God's Son, God's own humanity wherewithal
The Maker suffereth evil, and partakes
The sorrows of the world he hath made, knows, loves,
Brother and friend of spirit everywhere?
Or bound hast been to thy foolish world for aye?

Angel. Star unto star speaks light, and world to world
The password of all souls to God, the name
Of God in us, repeats, word reunitive
With Deity, worth all tongues in earth and heaven.

Son of God. Think not I have lived in, died for, thine alone;
And that no other sphere hath hailed me lord.
In teaching, judging, saving worlds is spent
Mine everlasting being.

Lucifer. And earth he next
Will judge; for so saith God.

Angel of Earth. Be it not, Lord.
Thou art a God of love and goodness. He,
The evil of the universe, loves not earth,
Not man, thy Son, nor thee.

Lucifer. Love I not earth,
Fair earth, well--zoned?

Angel of Earth. Thou knowest best, Lord.

Lucifer. Behold
Now, all yon worlds. The space each fills shall be,
And that right soon, its successor. Accept
The trivial consolation.

Angel of Earth. Earth, O Earth!

Lucifer. It is earth shall head destruction. She shall end.
The worlds shall wonder why she comes no more
On her accustomed orbit; and the sun
Miss one of his apostle lights; the moon,
An orphaned orb, shall seek for earth for aye
Through time's untrodden depths, and find her not.
No more shall morn, out of the holy east,
Stream o'er the amber air her level light;
Nor evening, with the spectral fingers, draw
Her star--sprent curtain round the head of earth;
Her footsteps never thence again shall grace
Heaven's blue, sublime. Her grave--Death's now at work--
Gaps deep in space. See tombwards gathering all
The stars, in long procession, sad, night--clad;
Each lights his funeral brand, and ranks him round.
And one by one shall all yon wandering worlds,
Whether in orbèd path they roll, or trail,
Gold--tressed, in length inestimable of light,
Their train, returnless from extreme space, cease;
The sun, bright keystone of heaven's world--built arch,
Be left in burning solitude. The stars,
As dewdrops countless on the aethereal fields
Of the skies, and all they comprehend, shall pass.
The spirits of all the spheres shall all depart
To their great destinies; and thou and I,
Greater in grief than worlds, shall live as now.

Angel of Earth. Thou knowest not the to--come.

Lucifer. Who knows? 'Tis safe,
For all that, to predict woe. Woe impends

Son of God. In hell's dark future that is writ
Shall amaze yet man and angel.

Angel of Earth. Spirit, hear!
All heaven at thee shall peer.

Lucifer. There, to thy earth.

Angel of Earth. There's a blind world, dislumined late of God,
Smote into blackness thrice of darkness, such
As spreads where light, God's shadow, not is; by storms
Of stars meteoric wrecked; and by base force
Invert, of dissolute elements, dragged to the verge
Of chaos, rolling round space utmost. There,
The outcast of all being, good alone
Lacking from every rudiment of things,
Reigns ruin permanently; disaster sows,
Decay reaps; naught aught fits; that, fit for thee
If fit to be promoted out of hell--
Be thy world. Leave, leave me the lifeful earth;
Home, shrine of every virtue, every law
Spatial or spiritual God hath given the world.
Stretch forth thy shining shield, O God! the heavens
Over the prostrate earth, an armèd friend,
And save her from the swift and violent hell
Her beauty hath enchanted; from the woe
Of love like his, Oh, save her, though by death.

Lucifer. Go tell the earth, I come.

Angel of Earth. Tidings of ill
Announce, thyself. Be thine own fiend--spell, thou.

Son of God. O'er all things are eternity and change
And special predilection of our God.
Thou, Lord, who souls createst as the sun clouds
From the sea of spirit, Sire, thou, of man thy Son's
Spiritual and bodily nature both; in whom
Maker and made one Being make divine;
Free, mediative; who aye in every world
Payeth creation's penalties, the fines
Of imperfection, ignorance, and the sins
Such weakness leads to, and the original lack
Of all consummate qualities; yet in all
Is heir of God and nature, and in thee
Attempering Deity with humanity, lives
Ever and equality claims supreme in heaven
With all divinity, thrice being purified;
And you, blessed spirits regenerate now from taint
Of ill--directed will, for whom--to prove
God's self--exception arbitrary from law--
He hath founded for the world, from the first called,
First chosen; and you the unnumbered throng to be
Last in the infinite proof of spiritual life's
Probational advance all time; for whom
All heaven the fulness of its bliss reserves;
Creator and created, witness, both,
How I have loved ye, as God--natured life
Can only, and suffer, not annulled. Let earth,
And every orb, offspring of fire--fraught space,
Perish materially: while lasts in spirit
Creation's evil, prince of the world, 'gainst good
Thine it will be to strive, I know; and though
Not I, nor nature, wholly, neither, void
Of the holy spirit prophetic, wist the end
Of Being, yet fear I not for good's success
Final, or in the skies, or earth's broad field,
Or in these lists, delimited of one soul.

God. Earth, when her Sabbath ends, in the high close
Of order, shall not be.

Lucifer. Now, heaven, farewell!
Hell seems less terrible than is nothingness.

God. Destruction and salvation are two hands
Upon Being's face. When both unite, at close
Of time's course hourful, death's dark day begins,
Which yet shall dawn. Each orb to its end forefixed
Exists; and earth, my creature, the elect
Of worlds, ere all death stricken, but passed through fire,
Renewed, made pure past primal innocence,
Is saved. The world shall perish like a worm
Upon destruction's path; the universe
Evanish as a ghost that scents the sun,
Yea, like a doubt before the truth of God;
Yet nothing more than death shall perish. Then,
Rejoice ye souls of God regenerated,
Ye indwellers divine of Deity, know
In him ye are immortal as himself.

Angel. So shall the All in All be all in One.

God. Know, angel--guard, thy charge from first ordained
To prove his faith in God, that ultimately
Wide fields of blessed salvation may be reaped
Timely. Go, search the scroll of fate, thou wilt find,
Writ in that holy and everlasting word,
This soul forechosen, long tested, simpler made
By wisdom, by rise humbler in belief,
Outwaked doubt's night, revert in worthship here.
And though so largely he knew, and all with him,
Of nature's source, at last, the birth of things,
Creation's laws and principles; knowledge gained
Gradually, by wise behest; not less he loved,
Not less believed, than when, in earlier years
Of inscience, Auz' afflicted patriarch clave
To my name submiss, in me self--justified.
Heaven's secret this, till I permit, reserved,
Even from himself, and he of man's race last.

The Holy Spirit. And lo! I hallow him to the ends of heaven,
That though he plunge his soul in sin, like a sword
In water, it shall nowise cling to him.
Souls are of God. All ends are known in heaven
Ere aimed at upon earth. The child is chosen.

Saints. Another soul the All--Holy One
Hath chosen out of perishing earth;
And when is done the life begun
Throughout the whole shall heaven see none
More joyful of the immortal birth.

Guardian Angel. How is thy secret love adorable ever,
Sole amiable, in whose eternal plans,
Things not yet made re--rise, and sacred ends,
Momentous, vast, lie hidden in certainty
Transpicuous; howbeit nor seraph, saint,
Nor I, knew, till this instant, with all heaven,
That soul was saved. Praise God, ye blessed, with joy.

God. Nor he, nor any soul were saved, had not
The world's original evil, by my decree
From all time framed, been capable of use,
With good compatible. Evil is not a power
By one mind miscreate, malevolent grown,
Maugre my will, foisted into the world:
But of defectible nature born, were't not
Of greater ultimate gain than present grief,
To soul free, answerable, or than could else
Be, it had never been; rest sure. Let, now,
Yon erring, infidel spirit, in act as doom
Precipitate; there by angel eyeable scarce,
So swiftlier than the wind hath he down sped;
By me e'er seen through; who, deformity being
Essential, every fount of life with death
Embittereth, taints each separate birth with sin,
And the soul--world fouls with self; so prompt to aid
Creation's foes, destruction, death--his worst
Dare; yet shall God, before even reason create,
Show just; and sin's sire, false and faithless, learn
Soul's progress due to free--willed strife 'gainst ill;
Evil o'erruled to good, transmute to use
Most fit whereby to administer the world,
Spiritual; imperfect caused; but if without
Free--will, of Being's amplest dignity void,
How infelicitous; nor amenable ye,
Intelligences, which people it. For not only
To me, free sovereign of free servants, 'longs
Necessity, but still holier liberty; both
Offspring, twin--born of God, in whom abides
All fulness, sole, perfection. So, in fine,
Evil's constrictive knot from life's lithe limbs
Released, sin expiate and abolished, all
Shall with God's righteousness be satisfied.

Thrones. Thou, God, art Lord of Being, and thy just thoughts
Are high above the star--dust of the world;
The spheres themselves are but as glittering noughts
Upon these imperial robes, thy skies, impearled.
Life's thousand thrones, mid spaces infinite,
Beam joyous 'neath love's universal sight;
We who thine ordered Thearchy divine
Set forth, who with thy glow effluxive shine,
We angel raylets gladden in thine interior light.

Dominations. Between creation and destruction, now
The lull of creatural action intervenes.
God rests; and the world is working out its week.
His hand is in his bosom, and at peace.
But what was gradually create shall be
Most suddenly unmade. That arm which now
Slumbers upon his breast shall yet wave forth;
And from the lightning pathway of his feet
The aethereal web, world--studded, of the skies
Like to the gossamer woof, beaded with dew,
Stretched o'er the morning traveller's walk, shall pass
Annihilate, and for ever. For behold!
His oath uncancellable on heaven's altar rests;
The whole shall end. All matter, erst conceived
Of God the eternal, and the virgin void,
The firmament of material worlds, shall cease;
By spheres may be replaced of spiritual light;
But thee, who hold'st in thine all--moulding hand
The infinite as a ball, all worlds, or gross,
With elements, or to spirit refined, shall serve
Yea, o'er the universe aye omnipotent thou
As over meanest atomie, reignest Lord.

Powers. Thy might is self--creative, God: thy works,
Immortal, temporal, or destructible, all,
Ever in thy sight are blessed there. The heavens
Thy bosom, o'er all existence stoops thine eye;
The worlds thy shining footprints show in space.

Princedoms. Eternal Lord! Thy strength compels the worlds,
And bows the heads of ages; at thy voice
Their unsubstantial essence wears away.

Virtues. All--favouring God! we glory but in thee.
Ye heavens, exalt, expand yourselves. They come,
The infinite generations, all divine
Of Deity, come, our brethren, come, our friends.

Archangel. Thou who hast thousand names as night hath stars
Which light thee up to mind finite, yet scarce
Thy limitlessness illume, nor that abyss
Of Being, wherein thy wondrous attributes
Themselves constellate, Lord! thy light, the light
We dwell in, shall at last, all times consumed,
Fulfil the universe, and all be bliss.

Angels. Thee, God of heaven, of all, we praise,
Through our ne'er sunsetting days,
And thy just ways, divine.
In thine hand is every spirit;
Cleansing pain, and meed of merit;
All things souls and worlds inherit,
Of thee all born, are thine.
Not unto creatures be it given
To scan the purposes of heaven,
Alway just and kind;
But before thy holy breath,
All--quickening where it operateth,
Life and spirit, dust and death,
The boundless all is driven,
As clouds by wind.

God. Can God refuse this angel's innocent prayer?
Fate learn to reconcile thyself with joy.

Angel of Earth. Woe, woe, at last in heaven!
Earth to death is given.
The ends of things hang still
Over them as a sky;
Do what, do how we will,
All's for eternity.

God. Earth's angel--warden, lift thine head. Thy prayer
Ungranted wholly, graceless yet falls not
Back to its generous source. Thy love--task once
Achieved, to guide that sphere's tempestuous life
Through all vicissitudes, this reward be thine--
Thy ultimate hopes to know made truths; its mien
Of beauty purified, she shall be known 'mong stars
By the name of Peace; true end to godly strife
'Gainst evil, of good, which heaven with joy shall fill,
And calm delights inviolable of love,
Eternal, spiritual, love divine of God. 

Philip James Bailey's other poems:
  1. Festus - 35
  2. Festus - Proem
  3. Festus - 37
  4. Festus - 36
  5. Festus - Dedication

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