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

St. John the Baptist Beheaded in Prison (I.)

From the Parisian Breviary

Translated by Isaac Williams

WHO hither comes from shrines of the dark wood,

With voice that sternly cries; and as he goes

Hang on his words a growing multitude?

His is no brow that swells with fancied woes,

Nurs’d in a palace or a court’s repose:

No reed is he which to the moaning gale

Waves its tall shadow in the moonlight pale.

For thrice-ten years in desert haunts profound

He hath been rear’d to holy hardihood,

And the deep wild now hears again the sound

Of her Elijah in the solitude;

Who with his spirit bold, and might endued

The thunders of God’s law proclaims aloud,

To soldier, Pharisee, and humble crowd.

And now admitted to the kingly hall

Unto the subtle tyrant he draws near;

No coward fears the Prophet’s heart appal,

No courtly favour wins, nor listening ear

His holy admonitions glad to hear;

But e’en in kingly ears, severe and free,

He warning speaks of foul adultery.

To Thee, O God, the Father, Spirit, Son,

To Thee, O holy, holy, holy Three,

To Thee, O blessed Three, O awful One,

O Thou who dwellest in eternity,

All love, all might, all glory be to Thee,

A sacrifice to Thee our hearts we raise,

Make Thou them meet to sing Thine endless praise.