Nadab and Abihu.

“A WAY , or e'er the Lord break forth!
 The pure ethereal air
Cannot abide the spark of earth,
 'Twill lighten and not spare.”

“Nay, but we know our call divine,
 We feel our hearts sincere;
What boots it where we light our shrine,
 If bright it blaze and clear?”

God of the unconsuming fire,
 On Horeb seen of old,
Stay, Jealous One, Thy burning ire . . . .
 It may not be controlled!

The Lord breaks out, the unworthy die;
 Lo! on the cedar floor
The robed and mitred corses lie—
 Be silent and adore.

Yet sure a holy seed were they,
 Pure hands had o'er them past,
Cuirass and crown, their bright array,
 In Heaven's high mould were cast.

Th' atoning blood had drench'd them o'er,
 The mystic balm had seal'd;
And may the blood atone no more,
 No charm the anointing yield?

Silence, ye brethren of the dead,
 Ye Father's tears, be still;
But choose them out a lonely bed,
 Beside the mountain rill;

Then bear them as they lie, their brows
 Scath'd with the avenging fire,
And wearing (sign of broken vows)
 The blest, the dread attire.

Nor leave unwept their desert grave,
 But mourn their pride and thine,
Oft as rebellious thought shall crave
 To question words divine.
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