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

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

From the Parisian Breviary

Translated by Isaac Williams

HIS open veins all flow with gore:

Drink, tyrant, and be satisfied!

Or of his blood upon the floor,

Amid thy cups and viands, pour

An offering to thy pride!

He saw, and startled back, I trow,

When on that glittering festive scene

Death’s silent image lookèd forth now,

From that same majesty of brow,

Reproving, grave, serene.

Thus He who all things ordereth,

His herald bids the way to lead,

Sends him resisting e’en to death,

To chambers of the grave beneath,

His Master to precede.

The earth Thy praises shall prolong,

O ever-blessed One and Three;

Till Heaven takes up the wondrous song,

In multitudinous thunders strong,

To all eternity.