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

The Descent from the Cross

Herbert Kynaston (1809–1878)

SIX weary hours extended

Upon the Cross of pain,

When will the day be ended,

Night’s shadows come again?

Would morn were eve’s declining,

Would God that eve were morn,

His eve of life’s resigning,

His Resurrection dawn.

Thrice now the congregation

Has climbed the steep to prayer,

It is the Preparation,

And yet He withers there:

They say the Cross dissembles

The spirit’s parting strife;

And day by day still trembles

The hideous wreck of life.

Haste, Joseph—It is finished—

The sun sinks on the wave;

The time must needs be minished,

The three days of the grave:

An eve without a morning,

Of blackest midnight born;

The Sabbath past, His dawning

Is everlasting morn.

Blest Sepulchre! where never

Man’s mortal form was laid;

The only Tomb for ever

With Angel light arrayed;

Life’s only, last defender—

When graves shall be no more,

No earth hast thou to render,

No treasure to restore.