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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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