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

The Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea

W. A. Newman

’TWAS night! still night!

A solemn silence hung upon the scene;

The keen, bright stars shone with unclouded light,

Calm and serene.

Hushed was the Tomb!

The heavy stone before its entrance lay:

No light broke in upon its silent gloom,

No starry ray.

The moonlight beamed;

It hung above that garden, soft and clear,

Around the watchful guard its radiance gleamed

From helm to spear.

The Tomb was sealed!

The watch patrolled before its entrance lone;

The bright night every passing step revealed;

None neared the stone.

Midnight had passed;

The stars their lustrous shining had decreased;

And day-break’s earliest light was hastening fast

In the pale east.

The morning star,

Last in the silent Heaven, withdrew its ray,

And the white dawn spreading its spectre light

Foretold the day.

An earthquake’s shock

Just at the break of morning shook the ground,

And echoed from that rent and trembling rock

With startling sound.

The guards, amazed,

Fell to the earth in wonder and affright;

And round the astonished spot in glory blazed

A sudden Light.

An Angel there

Descended from the tranquil sky;

The glory of his presence filled the air


He rolled away

From the still Sepulchre the massy stone;

And, watching silent till the risen day,

He sat thereon.

His garments white,

Shone like the snow in its unsullied sheen;

His face was, like the lightning’s gleaming light

Dazzlingly seen.

All, all around

Was silence, and suspense, and listening dread;

The stirless watch lay prostrate on the ground,

Hushed as the dead.

At break of day

The Saviour burst that Cavern’s stillness deep,

Rising in conquest from Death’s shattered sway

As from a sleep.

He rose in Power,

In all the strength of Godhead shining bright,

Fresh as that hallowed Morning’s dewy hour

Pure as its Light.

He rose as God,

Rose as a mighty Victor strong to save,

Breaking Death’s silent chain and unseen rod

There in the Grave.

He rose on high,

While Angels hung around on soaring wing,

Wresting from the dark Grave its victory,

From Death its sting.