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I Heard Immanuel Singing

Written by: Vachel Lindsay | Biography
 | Quotes (2) |
 (The poem shows the Master, with his work done, singing to free his heart in Heaven.)


I heard Immanuel singing 
Within his own good lands,
I saw him bend above his harp.
I watched his wandering hands
Lost amid the harp-strings;
Sweet, sweet I heard him play.
His wounds were altogether healed.
Old things had passed away.

All things were new, but music.
The blood of David ran
Within the Son of David,
Our God, the Son of Man.
He was ruddy like a shepherd.
His bold young face, how fair.
Apollo of the silver bow
Had not such flowing hair.

I saw Immanuel singing 
On a tree-girdled hill. 
The glad remembering branches 
Dimly echoed still
The grand new song proclaiming
The Lamb that had been slain.
New-built, the Holy City
Gleamed in the murmuring plain.

The crowning hours were over.
The pageants all were past.
Within the many mansions
The hosts, grown still at last,
In homes of holy mystery
Slept long by crooning springs
Or waked to peaceful glory,
A universe of Kings.

He left his people happy.
He wandered free to sigh
Alone in lowly friendship
With the green grass and the sky.
He murmured ancient music
His red heart burned to sing
Because his perfect conquest
Had grown a weary thing.

No chant of gilded triumph— 
His lonely song was made 
Of Art's deliberate freedom;
Of minor chords arrayed 
In soft and shadowy colors 
That once were radiant flowers:—
The Rose of Sharon, bleeding 
In Olive-shadowed bowers:— 

And all the other roses 
In the songs of East and West 
Of love and war and worshipping, 
And every shield and crest 
Of thistle or of lotus
Or sacred lily wrought
In creeds and psalms and palaces
And temples of white thought:—

All these he sang, half-smiling 
And weeping as he smiled, 
Laughing, talking to his harp 
As to a new-born child:—
As though the arts forgotten
But bloomed to prophecy
These careless, fearless harp-strings,
New-crying in the sky.
"When this his hour of sorrow 
For flowers and Arts of men
Has passed in ghostly music,"
I asked my wild heart then—
What will he sing to-morrow,
What wonder, all his own
Alone, set free, rejoicing,
With a green hill for his throne?
What will he sing to-morrow
What wonder all his own
Alone, set free, rejoicing,
With a green hill for his throne?



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