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

The Witness of St. Paul

Thomas Toke Lynch (1818–1871)

THE APOSTLE spake of judgment just,

And certain unto men as death;

Prince Felix felt as if the thrust

Of deadly arrows stayed his breath:

“I’ll hear thee at convenient time,”

He said, his terror to dissemble;

But when can guilt conveniently

Invite the truth that makes it tremble?

Of Jesus risen, O, news so glad,

The light of life to nations dead,

The Apostle spake: “Paul, thou art mad,”

With a loud voice Prince Festus said:

What, will the prince outspeak the voice

That pierced to Lazarus in his grave,

And stilled the clamouring winds for those

Who said, “We perish; Jesus, save?”

“Believest thou,” the Apostle cried,

“O King Agrippa, yea, thou dost,

The ancient word?” The king replied,

“Almost in Christ thou mak’st me trust.”

“O, were ye all and wholly his,”

Said Paul, his fervour shook his chain.

“Not bound as I, but with me free;

‘Almost’ is altogether vain.”