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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

“He Commandeth the Unclean Spirits, and They Come out”

Alfred Norris

DEAR Lord, I housed a noisome, lying fiend,

Within the secret chambers of my soul;

Entrance he got through one small window screen’d,

And then usurp’d the whole.

All noble thoughts he dimm’d with evil sneer,

All aspirations laugh’d to bitter scorn;

On Love and Truth he cast his blighting leer,

And Hope died ere ’twas born.

E’en from a child I bore this noisome fiend

In vain revolt against his passionate might,

Till all my strength was spent. Like one I seem’d

Who long had lost his sight.

Dear Lord, I lay beneath Thy cross! At first

’Twas darkly empty; as I groped in fear

I heard the gates of heaven open burst:

I cried, “O Saviour, hear!”

And not in vain, for on my ear there fell

Thy strong “I will!” and lo! the fiend went forth—

He tore me as he went—a-down to hell,

Raving, and bitter wroth.

Came swinging from the pit a hoarse, fell noise,

As to their chain-lengths wallowing fiends up-swung,

High heaven lay calmly on its equipoise,

Sweetly the angels sung.