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Poem by Philip James Bailey


Festus - 42


The soul--state, intermediate 'twixt earth's life
And the world future, unconceived till seen,
We search with curious awe; mark dormant death;
Nor, joyless, evil accost, by heaven restrained;
From bonds aeonian loosened, ere the end:
View, visionary, the circle of false gods,
Refractions of the sole and infinite One,
Conceptions imperfect of deity, held
Of old, by ignorant and idolatrous man,
Yet honest, who his best faculties adored
Unwittingly, his mere passions:--ruined, chained,
Worshipless, all bear witness to one true,
All--free, all--necessary, all holy God.
Error's unreal immortality, see
Extinguished by God's verity: hear the word
Divine, by all obeyed.

Hades.
Archangel, Festus, Death, Lucifer.
Festus.  Almighty God! sustain me. This is death:--
And this--I knew not, angel, he was here--
Is Lucifer, the fallen; and like a bolt
Of thunder forged in intramundane air,
Self--buried within the centre. Not in hell;
Where every spirit's work, by fire is tried;
For there is fierce exaction of just dues,
Stern course of forfaults compurgate; remorse,
Flame--toothed, with bite unflickering, find I him;
But here, God--bounden in rest.

Archangel. O Lucifer!
Wake from thy sea--like sleep, time's calm so long,
Long and unfathomable hath ceased. Arise
In peace or wrath, rouse from thine age--long trance,
And see; earth's representative, and heaven's,
Stand by thee. Closed, death's intermediate state,
Heaven's breath blows freely round us as the air
Vital of all futurity.

Lucifer. Heaven's just doom
Respect thou, angel; nor thou, mortal, erst
Vassal, last victor, vaunt thou this, nor blame
Fate's word, for that, forespoken.

Festus. I blame no more
The part thou took'st once in my mortal life;
It is gone; nor spurn thee for delusions dead.
The blood man's strife once spilled is sunk in earth,
Run into rivers, seas; dried up in air;
Air, water, earth themselves, all elements, gone,
With the sin itself; even sin being expiate now
By sufferance of just doom; good done to soul
Wronged; and first innocence rightly sought of God.
As therefore came by freedom sin, by sin
Knowledge, and last by knowledge wished return
Godwards, what good hath come of all I bear
Alone at heart; and if we have both, time passed,
Offended God, let me, though in nature not
To forget--forgive what each man once hath felt,
The devil's all--burning grip upon his heart.
Thee view I with compassion; half with hope.

Lucifer.  Mortal! I bow to thee, and would to the least
And lowest of all the spirits that God hath made;
Being in ill his worser, but that the curse
I am accursed with of impenitency,
Outlasts the elements--outlives all time.

Festus.  All curses cease with time; all ill, all woe.
Blessings star forth for ever; but a curse
Is like a cloud--it passeth.

Lucifer. It is a cloud
Enshrouds creation. Good and ill perchance
Have one end.

Archangel. Mark the uncertain wit he words.
Twice--shot contrariwise his thought--woof seems
Itself to thwart reversive; not of truth
Takes he yet hand--fast; nought of right conceives
Indeviable; and yet, once more, 'tis writ,
With miscreant strife, even faithless in himself,
His final fate he tempts, well--earned, so far
As finite spirit can deem; nathless, strange change
In him once wrought, like strange to come may augur.

Lucifer.  Angel and mortal, hear! who else save God
Can fathom nature? who unveil, he sole,
Except, who clothed? Me needs not here defend,
Mine office preappointed; nor yet tell
What thoughts if vacillant, still perchance not vain
Wholly, have filled my soul since thus. Dread thou
The executant of God's vengeance, for by him
Yon angel, only not almighty, there!
As with a chain of mountains, I was bound,
And hurled into this unformed nebulous life;
Stripped of all might when mightiest, struck down
While triumphing the loftiest,--enslaved,
When most a monarch o'er both earth and hell,
And made a shadow among shadows here.
It recks not. Let the impenetrable soul
Be ground as through a mill; know only I
In action or inaction equal woe;
Suffering, doing, being, one extreme.
Pass on! we meet again.

Festus. And when we do,
May God forgive, as I!

Archangel. Mayhap thou wilt yet
Know me as minister of his mercy.

Lucifer. I!
I look for mercy? never! Least, when now
Plotting the sum of evil.

Archangel. Behold there Death!
Throned on his tomb--entombèd in his throne;
Just as he ceased he rests for aye; his scythe,
Still wet out of its bloody swathe, one hand
Tottering sustains: the other strikes the cold
Drops from his bony brow; his mouldy breath
Tainteth all air.

Festus. I dread him now no more,
Nor hate. He is a vanquished enemy.

Archangel. Listen! he speaks.

Death. To you, ye sons of God,
My latest words I utter. Unto him
Who ever lives, and hath for aye destroyed
Me and my reign, give ye this crown usurped,
And lay it at his feet; and this dulled dart
Which was my sceptre. To the conqueror
Belong these trophies. All the progeny
Of time will soon cease. Lo! the end's at hand.

Archangel.  Thus shall it be, O Death! and thus it is.
But hear, O Death! and thou, great Fiend; the will
Of the Eternal Life, the all--present Good
Is that I free ye both. Thou Death, depart;
Seek other sphere, where poised with life minute
Thou mayst existence match, and wait God's will,
Largening or lessening. Rise thou, hell's lord. Behold!
Even while I speak, so mighty shows his word,
Those chains though mountain--ribbed, and fit to bind
The tide to the sea's bed, like clotted snow,
Fall from thy feet. Up, then, and do thy will,
Whate'er it be, and wheresoever. Go!

Lucifer. Let us away, O Death!

Death. Let us away!
My realm I leave behind me.

Lucifer. I mine seek.

Festus.  Lo! they are gone. Earth's breath is purified.
The air feels lighter, I breathe easier since.
Who now these giant shades of awe which fill
The midst, the present of the place? And whose
Yon throne inane whose perilous void bespeaks
A central terror which, unseen, more awes
Than others' presence?

Archangel. Heaven to them thereby
Their state subordinate shows; the doom of pride.
These are the mighty nothings man of old
Made; unrealities dread by whom he swore,
Prayed to, and sacrificed; brother falsehoods all;
Men like himself, imagination changed
To gods; for good deeds these, and those for bad:
Or, angels who aspiring to be gods,
Made themselves, deathless nothings; lords of death,
And fire, and judgment; lords of time and war;
Beauty, and strength, and light; and the long roll
Of creatural powers and passions deified.
Abstractions made by men, by God preserved--
Preserved as shadows thus to realize,
Before all devotees, their nothingness;
Who gave their names to stars which still roam round
The skies, all worshipless, even from climes
Where their own altars once topped every hill.
Attend, their reign is over. These their last
Oracular utterances alone are true.

Zeus.  O God supreme, sole, all the gods to thee
Restore their stolen titles. Thou alone
Hast true right to the names of deity.
First Cause, and imperceptible, unseen;
If apprehended, only by pure soul;
Source of all life, transcendent and eterne;
Source of all measure, motion, time, and change;
Who makest, movest, rulest all; thyself
Impassible, immoveable, unmade;
The one great Spirit of the universe.
Who the world made of heaven and earth, as man
Of mind and body. Father of all life,
Whose living spirit animates the whole;
Governs and guides to ends both blessed and wise;
Gave mind its active power; to nature gives
Eternal pregnancy, perpetual birth;
And reasonable order, aye renewed;
The light of heaven, the parent of the world;
Who art eternally, and causest things
To be, which heretofore have never been;
The sovereign will, the intellect, the soul,
The perfect good, the perfect fair, the All;
One, immaterial, who by one sole act
Dost all things comprehend; and bliss supreme
Enjoyest, by knowing perfectly thyself.
Among the worlds how many are thy names!
For as the sun in divers tongues hath names
As many, yet to all men is but one,
So thou, however named, art God the sole.
Creator and adorner of the heavens;
Ruler most high of gods, and sire of man;
First, best and greatest of all beings, last;
Kind conqueror of all foes; of all create
The infinite reason, the substantive cause;
The forces of all life, impersonate.
Thou knowest and foreknowest all at once;
Thou givest good and evil to all souls.
Thine arm sweeps over sea and land; thine eye
Pierceth all elements, to the Hadëan shades,
Where thou art throned, too, as in upper skies;
Thy throne coequal with the universe.
The proud thou dost rebuke with death; with life
Immortal dost reward the just and true.
All who have served or loved thee thou dost love,
And worship givest of all men in the heavens.
With souls beneficent, innocent, and pure
Thou dost the largest and the loveliest stars
For aye consociate. All belong to thee,
And those who love thee; heaven and all its worlds.

Apollo.  Soul of the toilful sun, who dost unite
Creator and created; light of God,
And God of light; of human and immortal
Spirit, sole physician; victor thou of sin,
That hell--born serpent, thee, we gods adore;
The sovereign truth, who neither canst deceive
Nor be deceived; let earth and heaven their crown
Offer at the altar of thy fatherly knee.

Osiris.  Lord of the threefold region, life and death,
And everlasting being; king of gods;
Builder and benefactor of all worlds;
Who cast earth's rock foundation, and with hills
Walled it about, and moated with the sea;
Thou, sitting in the shining house of life,
Movest with thy foot the everlasting wheel
Of nature, and man's members mould'st divine;
Breathest in them their soul, and takest back;
Life--issuing as the sun imparteth light;
Glad re--awakener of the soul in heaven.
Eternal, all--beneficent, Lord of truth;
King of obedient natures; for thy will,
Perforce or favour, all create obey.
Distributor of destinies; lord beloved
Of spirits in the land of joy divine,
The land of purity, and light, and peace.
So should earth be, oracular truth once said,
And thus it is. Lord of stability,
For heavenly things alone endure for aye.
Eternal vivifier of all heavens!
Before thy face the impure cannot abide.
The crowned slave mocks thee; and like hills of sand,
Crumbling beneath the ruin of thy tread,
Earth's mountains tremble, and her high places fall.
Thy name is higher than the highest heaven;
Thy glory firmer than the firmament.
Ruler of spirits; of heaven's superior spheres;
The earthly, and the nether world of hell;
Beginningless and endless, the one cause,
Great, unimpersonable; whose attributes
Are beings, and whose thoughts creations; thou,
From whose mouth wordlike the round world is born.
Sovran of souls, and reëstablisher,
Who plantest the divine life in man's mind;
Who weighest man's actions in his heart, ere yet
They bud in speech, or fruit in deed of hand.
The birth and breath of prophecy; of time
Maker; of all, eternal head and end.
The Lord of Hades, dwelling in the tomb;
Death henceforth clean and sanctified to man;
Who with just sceptre rulest righteous souls.
Joy of the just on earth, the blessed in heaven;
Treating all evil with thy sacred scourge;
Lord of the visible and invisible life;
Being of beings; causer of causes; God.

Aurmazd.  Illimitable essence, unconceived;
One Spirit infinite: from all thy works
Dissimilar, great dispenser of all good;
Best of all best, and wisest of all wise;
Father of justice and of equity;
Perfect, who knowest all things from thyself.
The Lord of nature; not to be bribed by gifts
Nor mocked by false prayers. Teacher sole of truth,
To those high souls whose wisdom is their joy,
Their everlasting strength, their inner heaven;
Coheritors, and spirit peers of power,
These, who by intuition half--divine
Of the interior light, the light conceive;
And, knowing God, all knowledge know of him;
Ruler of earth and guardian, king of heaven;
Who made this world, that heaven; gave life to all;
And from the radiant fingers of his sun
Streams indiscriminate blessings upon men;
Children of earth and death, but planned to live
In an immortal future, pure from ill;
Earth's mountain evils smoothed off; the whole orb
Crystalline made; themselves all shadowless.
He, with unerring prescience, perfect power,
Unchanging kindness acts, and wisest love;
Who is the life of heaven; the threefold one;
Uniting deity and humanity,
Self--circled in the eternity divine;
Drives evil's monster daemon from the earth,
From human souls sin's shadow, and o'er all
Life sheds resplendent purity and bliss.

Allah.  No god but God is. He is his own prophet.
God, self--sufficient, Lord of the great throne,
Higher than heaven, and wider than the earth;
Vaster and more profound than the abyss;
Whose is the kingdom of the universe.
Who comprehendeth all things; made the sun
Star earth with flowers, and with his golden sword
Reap, like a labourer in the fields of light,
One everlasting harvest round the world;
He made the moon succeedent; he ordained
Darkness and light; he causeth life and death.
The heavens and earth stand firm at thy command;
And all that is between them and beneath.
High, gracious, mighty, worthy of all praise
Art thou in this life, Lord! and life to come.
Bounteous and wise, thou lovest the merciful;
The holy, the forgiver thou of sin,
The accepter of repentance; faithful, just;
Giver of peace, victorious; excellent
Are all thy names, thy ways; eternal Power!
Thou knowest all things hidden and divulged.
Beside thee there is no God, thou art one.
Although within the world, the world without;
Who was ere time or space was; and now is,
And will be though they both should cease for aye.
Nigher to every being than its life,
Too mighty still to live in aught create;
Too holy to conform to things of time;
Too perfect in all excellence to change.
All angels he hath made, all heavens, all orbs;
Maintains and metes their natures, motives, ends,
Accordant with his mighty will: foreknows
All knowable things, and comprehends all known.
He knows the number of the drops of dew,
Spring's every leaflet, autumn's every seed,
And sums the quivered shafts of every sun.
The movement of all thought within man's brain;
The stir of every feeling in his heart;
The rise of every longing in his soul;
Sin's sooty trail and virtue's radiant track,
Traced in the inmost spirit, shows unto him
Clear as the course of comets in the sky.
He knoweth his own secrets, and conceals
From the united gaze of all create,
His infinite aim, his purpose absolute.
Neither to be resisted nor reversed
Is his decree, delayed nor dallied with;
For at the fated moment all's fulfilled.
Without all quality, pure essence, he
Ears hath not, but hears all things; eyes hath not,
But all things sees; nor distance is, nor dark
To his divine cognition. To his touch
All innermost substances are palpable;
The hearts of all things patent to his glance.
Wise in his ways and just in his decrees,
Nothing hath being but by him produced;
And though permitted evil, to him sole
Pertains the right of knowing why it is,
For God must not be questioned. He alone
Hath all right, privilege, and prerogative.
The world exists but by his sufferance.
All things belong to him; and into all,
Brought out of mere privation into light,
He entereth as possessor, maker, lord.
Not from necessity aught created he;
Nor that to him were need of lower life;
Nor shadow of vantage from the universe;
But from his lovingkindness, grace, and will
He breathed a vital blessing over space,
Quickened the void infinitude with light,
And filled the heavens with angels, earth with men.
Who love him, worship him, obey him, he
From his beneficent nature well rewards;
Not from their merit; nor tie absolute
Existent 'twixt well--doing and reward,
For merit man hath none, but all is grace;
Nor can God under obligation lie
To aught created, principle, or power.
Man all receives from, nothing gives to God,
But that he hath received; the gift to praise,
The grace to thank; the glory to adore.

Archangel.  But that his name, to sanction war's foul force
Invoked, gloomed earth's tale, Allah were not here.
False gods have had ere now true worshippers,
Who honoured names they wrongly deified;
The true God false adorers, who him shamed,
If aught could, they deceitful knee'd, in base
And bloody service, so misdeemed; or whose
Nature more horrible than their own they judged.
But now man's universal heart made pure
By penitence and penance, every fine
Paid to the utmost mite, all worship proves
The faith that's most humane is most divine,
Dearest to God and worthiest his approof.
Imperfect apprehension he not blames
Of things above man's intellectual grasp,
For thought less answerable than for act.
Of conduct most he judgeth, good or bad.
Who lives not equal to his highest sense
Of truth and good; whose acts, judged by himself
Wrong, conscience damns; doth, so far, wilful sin;
His nature knowingly degrades; and God,
Thereby offended, justly dooms such soul
To punishment proportionate; fine being then,
And righteously, commensurate with offence;
Or finite causes infinite, and outweighs;
Law earthly more divine than heavenly, proves,
And man more just, more merciful than God;
Which is not nor can be, as thou mayest yet
Know ere we quit this inward world of shades.

Festus.  Oblivion's own; like unrecorded dreams,
Ænigmas uninterpretable, these,
The worshipped perish; the adorers live.

Zeus.  Before the Christian cross and Moslem mosque
My marble fanes have fallen, and my shrines
Shrunk like a withered hand, ages ago.
But now all signs and sacred domes for gods
To dwell in are extinct. The world is all
One temple of the truth.

Brahm. The ages feigned,
That made time groan to think how old he was,
And deities in millions, are no more.
Ageless eternity, and God the sole,
The royalty of heaven, is at hand.
Maker, destroyer, saviour! By all sense
Incomprehensible; all things above,
True being, cause of all; how, what, unknown.
One universal mind pervading all;
Dwelling in ocean, penetrating earth,
Touching the heaven, enclosing all the stars;
Inhabiting the universe, and through it
Passing like wind. All souls, all gods or men,
Shall fail in thee, as air, a phial holds,
Rejoineth infinite space, the crystal cell
Once broken which confined it. Yea, as streams
To ocean flowing, cease therein, all name
Losing, all form, so freed from life's sad yoke,
Created spirit once emanant from God,
Shall recombine with deity, and enjoy
In heaven's original bliss its primal power.

Budh.  All things that are shall nothing be at last,
Save what's resolvable in deity;
Yea, the whole world of old before thy face
Fading, stormlike beneath the sun, shall pass,
Absorbed in Godhood as some islet cloud
Melts midmost in the slowly darkening day.

Festus.  Great be the misconceptions even of gods.

Budh.  Giver, receiver, master of all life;
The primal, final, universal soul;
Pure deity absorbed in ultimate rest;
Who knowest the number of all souls, all stars;
Lord of the everduring dome of heaven,
The region of perfection, home of bliss,
Who dwell'st alone in the unseen, too pure
For death--doomed eye; the Lord who contemplates
With eyes of love the myriad--nationed world;
Lord of all being, ruling from on high,
Heaven, earth, and man, the sacred trine of life!
Great sea of spirit, fountain of all forms,
Issuer of all the laws of life which rule
Both unintelligent orbs and mightiest minds
In the well--ordered world, transcript divine
Of thought eternal in thy boundless breast;
Let us to thee give all our titles, thine
Of right, thine only. Let us, gods of earth,
Thee worship, God of heaven, as shadows sun;
Thee, self--existent, universal Lord,
Unchangeable, and independent; all
Embracing; by thee planted all the worlds
Expand like flowers on life's eternal stem;
Impenetrable, pure; judge of all spheres;
Author and worker of all laws which rule,
Material, mental, moral,--all the worlds;
Father and founder of all souls, all stars,
Creator, blesser, hallower of all life;
Whose will necessity, whose word is fate;
Whose providence inexorable law;
Who to the infinite nature thou hast made,
Givest lavish maintenance; while in thyself
Wealth inexhaustible still overabounds;
Treasures of mercies unconceived. Who, yet,
To premonition of the humblest soul
Inspired by thee to ask what thou hast willed,
Attentive, grant'st thy saints their least request,
Were it an orb of light. All holy, hear;
We praise thee, we adore thee, God of gods!

Odin.  All--father, permeating the world, all things
Sustaining, who end'st strife, and holy peace
Ordain'st, which lasts for aye; the omniscient, one,
And undeceivable, thee all gods adore.

Festus.  And all the lesser shades which move like moons,
Half darkened by the greater--half illumed--
Are priests and prophets of the mightier ones?

Archangel.  They are;--and further round than eye can mark,
The myriads of adorers of each god,
Confused and prostrate, as their souls awake
To the objects insubstantial of their prayers.
Behold! they kneel to those they hailed on earth
As makers--as omnipotent--eterne--
And cry for help, for comfort; none have they
To give to others or themselves; these high
Divinities, which, like shadowy pyramids,
Show form of strength, but of reality nought.
Gods of a mightier kind and nobler strain,
These truly--yea, but half false; and though now
Doomed, as the partial copies, so, untrue
Of the one universal, worthier yet
Man's trustful prayers and lauds, than those thou seest
Far off, round yon horizon of death's hall,
Monstrous, uncouth, fear--gendered, barbarous;
Such as were Rimac, who by Lima once
Sat, aboriginal oracle, imaged huge;
Till, smote by Christian mace, the immarbled lie
Rejoined chaotic formlessnesses: strewn
In grim and grinning fragments round its base:--
Or where in Kirauëa's lava--land
And island hills ablaze, fierce Pelé, thought
Goddess of fire, mid burning billows basked,
And music of the clashing hills of flame;
Or trode, triumphant, the tempestuous glow;
Such too the gory gods of western climes,
Who yearly claimed their feast of blood. The false,
The base, the brutish deities give way,
And all their sacred follies in their train,
Before the earthquake truth, engulphing all.
Woe to the false gods, woe! to prophet, priest,
And worshipper, all woe!

Festus. Hark! round the earth
Each soul hath found a tongue and uttereth woe.
Lo! from their thrones the man--made gods descend,
And rend their robes and trample on their crowns,
And hurl away their sceptres. Woe to all
The gods and idols of the heart of man!
Their sun is set for ever in the night
Which was ere light was. Surely it is more
To be true man or woman than false god,
And falser prophet. God alone, the true,
The God of heaven, and all, shall be confessed
And worshipped.

Archangel. Worshipped, witnessed, too,
By all: the faithful and the faithless--saint
And sinner. See, like clouds, the gods disperse,
Into their preoriginal nothingness.
And now the woe of those misguided, blind
To the demoniac madness of their creeds,
Shall be transformed to joy; they who adored
Their dreamlike deities, merely incompetent,
Shall, by God's grace, essential cause of all
Prior to all self--manifestive power,
Wisdom, or word, or act, reason, or will,
Their errors see transfigured into truth.
Listen, ye souls of men; all worship cease
Of what is false and fleeting; to your minds
Self--believed, always free, but bounded aye,
Fitted, or more or less; but now to truth
Transferred your lost allegiance shall receive
Just warrant of its right, perpetual peace,
Conscience of truth, bliss indestructible.
One only true God can be, has been, is.
False gods there never have been, nor false suns;
Save the abnormal shadows which betimes
Leap into life around him, and to man's
Weak sense owe all existence. So of these,
Parheliacal gods which mocked men's minds,
And, lighting them to darkness, left them there.
False gods have never been; nor false truths; forms
Partial and finite of the Infinite one
Who made all, all disposeth; who of all,
Hebrew and heathen, worldling and elect
Is worshipped, once as objects prayerwards served,
While of necessity falling short of truth,
To upraise, through all earth's times and climes, man's soul.
And one the Spirit of Evil, Dis, Lucifer,
Typhon, Misophanes, Satan, Aherman,
Hades, what name soe'er priest pleaseth best,
In nature still and destiny, one and same,
Creation's imperfections personate.
And Evil vitalised and as being conceived!
False gods there never have been; but of God
False names, false notions numberless. Behold
In these the transient types of one eterne;
Each several aspect deified, of Truth;
The obeliskal One, the primal three;
The powers divine and cardinal of heaven.
Yet prayer, preferred with a pure heart, to Baal,
As neither heard nor answered could it be
By non--existent daemon, might, by him,
Who sits enthroned in unthought purity,
The lord and lover of the world, be ta'en,
And righteously fulfilled; so angels deem.
But in the depths of man's own nature, see,
As in a lake, reflected, hills, skies, clouds,
His heaven, his hell, and all his creature gods,
Inverted, and distorted, and obscured:
All which must vanish ere the truth divine
In glory supervene. Idolatry
Worshipped God meanly, as though knowable
Through generative energies and powers;
Not as man's great regenerative Lord.
For life was of the Angels, as was law:
But love in place of law, as final judge,
In lieu of life, heaven's immortality
Christ taught, hence what in false faiths energies,
Were deemed are symbols only in the true.
God's omnipresence seems not sensuous;
Unless he be in us we are not in him.
Signify all things; nothing represents.
And therefore were the chosen race alone,
To whom the godly secret was confined,
Lapsing from faith, rebuked and charged with sin.
The general world, unconscious pietists
Of falsest creeds and errors, God allowed
To live on, unreproved, till came the time
When all the mysteries of heaven and earth
Were put in evolution; are but now
Fulfilling.

Festus. Lo! the nations of the dead,
Which do outnumber all earth's races, rise;
And high in sumless myriads over head
Sweep past us in a cloud, as it were the skirts
Of the Eternal passing.

A Voice. Souls, arise
To deathless life!

Archangel. It is God speaks. Let us hence.
The general judgment is in hand,--God's hand.
The souls of those whom God loves circle us.
For thee, thy lot thou knowest. As a seed
Buried in earth doth multiply itself
Full fifty fold, so will thy nature when
Changed, it lifts head in the air divine of heaven.

Festus.  Out of the depths of earth and the world's womb
Thine unborn angels seek thee, God, all love;
Now is thine hour for which all hours were made,
All life created, all things else ordained;
Be it the hour of mercy, Lord! to all,
Now reap the righteous, righteous but in thee
Any, their guerdon. Evil to repay
With good was Christ's command, and earth with heaven
Is thus the great example of his word.
Do thou Lord be with us. In thee we live;
Our treasure, trust, and triumph is in thee,
God's pure humanity; whence salvation comes
To the countless all thou dost redeem. Betrothed
To heaven was earth upon her natal day.
The ages sweep around me with their wings
Like angered eagles cheated of their prey.
Reach forth your arms ye angels. See them come.
I hear the orderly torrent of their wings
Hitherward streaming. Lo! the glowing skies
Are rushing to receive us. Oh! rejoice
All ye that are immortal, and whate'er
Hath been predestined to eternal end.
The day determined ere all time was, dawns.



Philip James Bailey


Philip James Bailey's other poems:
  1. Festus - 35
  2. Festus - Proem
  3. Festus - 17
  4. Festus - 24
  5. Festus - 21.2


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