Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

LINES ON A RE-READING OF PARTS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

(DEDICATED TO THE RT. REV. W. BOYD-CARPENTER)


 

SUBLIMITY! Sublimity! I lay thee down;
    Great Volume of the ages! older far
Than Cheops’ Pyramid or the Parthenon;
    And yet as new as yester-even’s star

That came and burned so bright and pure across

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    The world’s great weariness and day’s decline.
What are all the earth’s ambitions, gain and loss,
    Her hopes ephemeral, when thou art mine?

Thou stand’st, a crystal well of water pure,
    Amid those fevered fonts of heathen wine,

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Graven in truth’s deep rock that shall endure,
    So greatly human, yet so all divine!

This age doth press upon me like a vast,
    Grim adamantine wall of evil doom;
But when I drink thy living draught, I cast

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    Aside this vesture of material gloom;

These curtains of morality fall apart;
    And out, and up, beyond, eternally,
Those stairways of God’s ages; and man’s part
    In all that greatness, gone, and yet to be!

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