John Keble

Here you will find the Long Poem Easter Eve of poet John Keble

Easter Eve

At length the worst is o'er, and Thou art laid
 Deep in Thy darksome bed;
 All still and cold beneath yon dreary stone
 Thy sacred form is gone;
 Around those lips where power and mercy hung,
 The dews of deaths have clung;
 The dull earth o'er Thee, and Thy foes around,
Thou sleep'st a silent corse, in funeral fetters wound.

 Sleep'st Thou indeed? or is Thy spirit fled,
 At large among the dead?
 Whether in Eden bowers Thy welcome voice
 Wake Abraham to rejoice,
 Or in some drearier scene Thine eye controls
 The thronging band of souls;
 That, as Thy blood won earth, Thine agony
Might set the shadowy realm from sin and sorrow free.

 Where'er Thou roam'st, one happy soul, we know,
 Seen at Thy side in woe,
 Waits on Thy triumphs--even as all the blest
 With him and Thee shall rest.
 Each on his cross; by Thee we hang a while,
 Watching Thy patient smile,
 Till we have learned to say, "'Tis justly done,
Only in glory, LORD, Thy sinful servant own."

 Soon wilt Thou take us to Thy tranquil bower
 To rest one little hour,
 Till Thine elect are numbered, and the grave
 Call Thee to come and save:
 Then on Thy bosom borne shall we descend
 Again with earth to blend,
 Earth all refined with bright supernal fires,
Tinctured with holy blood, and winged with pure desires.

 Meanwhile with every son and saint of Thine
 Along the glorious line,
 Sitting by turns beneath Thy sacred feet
 We'll hold communion sweet,
 Know them by look and voice, and thank them all
 For helping us in thrall,
 For words of hope, and bright examples given
To show through moonless skies that there is light in Heaven.

 O come that day, when in this restless heart
 Earth shall resign her part,
 When in the grave with Thee my limbs shall rest,
 My soul with Thee be blest!
 But stay, presumptuous--CHRIST with Thee abides
 In the rock's dreary sides:
 He from this stone will wring Celestial dew
If but this prisoner's heart he faithful found and true.

 When tears are spent, and then art left alone
 With ghosts of blessings gone,
 Think thou art taken from the cross, and laid
 In JESUS' burial shade;
 Take Moses' rod, the rod of prayer, and call
 Out of the rocky wall
 The fount of holy blood; and lift on high
Thy grovelling soul that feels so desolate and dry.

 Prisoner of Hope thou art--look up and sing
 In hope of promised spring.
 As in the pit his father's darling lay
 Beside the desert way,
 And knew not how, but knew his GOD would save
 E'en from that living grave,
 So, buried with our LORD, we'll chose our eyes
To the decaying world, till Angels bid us rise.