Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ADVENT SUNDAY, by JOHN KEBLE



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ADVENT SUNDAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Awake - again the gospel-trump is blown
Last Line: The eye first finds thee out in thy secure repose?
Subject(s): Advent


AWAKE -- again the Gospel-trump is blown --
From year to year it swells with louder tone;
From year to year the signs of wrath
Are gathering round the Judge's path:
Strange words fulfill'd, and mighty works achieved,
And truth in all the world both hated and believed.

Awake! why linger in the gorgeous town,
Sworn liegemen of the Cross and thorny crown?
Up, from your beds of sloth, for shame,
Speed to the eastern mount like flame,
Nor wonder, should ye find your king in tears,
E'en with the loud Hosanna ringing in his ears.

Alas! no need to rouse them: long ago
They are gone forth to swell Messiah's show;
With glittering robes and garlands sweet
They strew the ground beneath his feet:
All but your hearts are there -- O doom'd to prove
The arrows wing'd in heaven for faith that will not love!

Meanwhile He paces through the adoring crowd,
Calm as the march of some majestic cloud,
That o'er wild scenes of ocean-war
Holds its course in heaven afar:
Even so, heart-searching Lord, as years roll on,
Thou keepest silent watch from thy triumphal throne;

Even so, the world is thronging round to gaze
On the dread vision of the latter days,
Constrain'd to own Thee, but in heart
Prepared to take Barabbas' part:
"Hosanna" now, to-morrow "Crucify,"
The changeful burden still of their rude lawless cry.

Yet, in that throng of selfish hearts untrue,
Thy sad eye rests upon thy faithful few;
Children and childlike souls are there,
Blind Bartimeus' humble prayer,
And Lazarus waken'd from his four days' sleep,
Enduring life again, that Passover to keep.

And fast beside the olive-border'd way
Stands the bless'd home, where Jesus deign'd to stay,
And peaceful home, to Zeal sincere
The heavenly Contemplation dear,
Where Martha loved to wait with reverence meet,
And wiser Mary linger'd at thy sacred feet.

Still, through decaying ages as they glide,
Thou lovest thy chosen remnant to divide;
Sprinkled along the waste of years,
Full many a soft green isle appears:
Pause where we may upon the desert road,
Some shelter is in sight, some sacred, safe abode.

When withering blasts of error swept the sky,
And Love's last flower seem'd fain to droop and die,
How sweet, how lone, the ray benign,
On shelter'd nooks of Palestine!
Then to his early home did Love repair,
And cheer'd his sickening heart with his own native air.
Years roll away: again the tide of crime
Has swept thy footsteps from the favour'd clime.
Where shall the holy Cross find rest?
On a crown'd monarch's mailed breast:
Like some bright angel o'er the darkling scene,
Through court and camp he holds his heavenward course serene.

A fouler vision yet; an age of light,
Light without love, glares on the aching sight:
O who can tell how calm and sweet,
Meek Walton! shows thy green retreat,
When wearied with the tale thy times disclose,
The eye first finds thee out in thy secure repose?





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