Easter Day

A WAKE —arise—lift up thy voice,
Which as a trumpet swell,
Rejoice in Christ—again rejoice,
And on his praises dwell.

The muse at length, no more perplext
In search of human wit,
Shall kneel her down, and take her text
From lore of sacred writ.

My lot in holy ground was cast,
And for the prize I threw;
And in the path by thousands past
The Lord shall make me new.

O let the people, with the priest,
Adorn themselves to pray,
And with their faces to the east
Their adoration pay.

Let us not doubt, as doubted some,
When first the Lord appear'd;
But full of faith and rev'rence come
What time his voice is heard.

And ev'n as John, who ran so well,
Confess upon our knees
The prince that locks up death and hell,
And has himself the keys.

'Tis He that puts all hearts in tune
With strings that never jar,
And they that rise to praise him soon,
Shall win the MORNING STAR.

The morning star, and pearl of price,
And stone of lucid white,
Are all provocatives from vice,
To heav'n and true delight.

O GLADNESS! that suspend'st belief
For fear that rapture dreams;
Thou also hast the tears of grief,
And failst in wild extreams.

Tho' Peter make a clam'rous din,
Will he thy doubts destroy?
Will little Rhoda let him in,
Incredulous with joy?

And thus thro' gladness and surprize
The saints their Saviour treat;
Nor will they trust their ears and eyes
But by his hands and feet.

These hands of lib'ral love indeed
In infinite degree,
Those feet still frank to move and bleed
For millions and for me.

A watch, to slavish duty train'd,
Was set by spiteful care,
Lest what the sepulchre contain'd
Should find alliance there.

Herodians came to seal the stone
With Pilate's gracious leave,
Lest dead and friendless, and alone,
Should all their skill deceive.

O dead arise! O friendless stand
By seraphim ador'd—
O solitude! again command
Thy host from heav'n restor'd.

Watchmen sleep on, and take your rest,
And wake when conscience stings;
For Christ shall make the grave his nest
Till God return his wings.

He died—but death itself improv'd
To triumph o'er the foe,
And preach'd, as God's great spirit mov'd,
To sinners chain'd below.

The souls that perish'd in the flood
He bid again to bliss;
And caus'd his rod with hope to bud
From out the dread abyss.

The seventh day above the week
Still would he keep and bless;
The pain'd to sooth, the lost to seek,
And grievance to redress.

Yet never such a day before
Of holy work was spent,
While hardship infinite he bore
That malice might relent.

And whether from success exempt
The story is not told;
But sure most glorious was th' attempt,
Whose fame in heav'n's enroll'd.

And each man in his spirit knows
That mercy has no bound;
And from that upmost zenith flows
The lowest depth to sound.

And therefore David calls for praise
From all the gulphs that yawn,
Our thoughts by greater strokes to raise
Than e'er before were drawn.

Beyond the height that science kens,
Where genius is at home;
And poets take their golden pens
To fill th' immortal tome.

Ye that for psalmody contend,
Exert your trilling throats;
And male and female voices blend
With joys divinest notes.

By fancy rais'd to Zion's top
Your swelling organ join;
And praise the Lord on every stop
Till all your faces shine.

With sweetest breath your trumpets fill'd,
Shall forward strength and grace;
Then all your warbling measures build
Upon the grounding bass.

The boxen pipe, for deepness form'd,
Involve in strains of love,
And flutes, with inspiration warm'd,
Shall imitate the dove.

Amongst the rest arouse the harp,
And with a master's nail;
And from the quick vibrations carp
The graces of the scale.

The flow'rs from every bed collect,
And on the altar lift;
And let each silver vase be deckt
With nature's graceful gift.

And from the steeple's summit stream
The flag of golden gloss,
Exposing to the glancing beam
The glorious English cross;

And let the lads of gladness born
The ringers be renew'd;
And as they usher'd in the morn,
Let them the day conclude.
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