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

“Now had the great Proclaimer”

John Milton (1608–1674)

From Paradise Regained, I. 18–32.

NOW had the great Proclaimer, with a voice

More awful than the sound of trumpet, cried

Repentance, and Heaven’s kingdom nigh at hand

To all baptized. To his great baptism flocked

With awe the regions round, and with them came

From Nazareth, the son of Joseph deemed

To the flood Jordan—came as then obscure,

Unmarked, unknown; but him the Baptist soon

Descried, divinely warned, and witness bore

As to his worthier, and would have resign’d

To him his heavenly office. Nor was long

His witness unconfirmed: on him baptized

Heaven opened, and in likeness of a dove

The Spirit descended, while the Father’s voice

From Heaven pronounced Him his beloved Son.