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The mighty sound of forests murmuring
In answer to the dread command;
The stars that shudder when their king
extends his hand,
His awful hand to bless, to curse; or moves
Toward the dimmest den
In the thick leaves, not known of loves
Or nymphs or men;
(Only the sylph's frail gossamer may wave
Their quiet frondage yet,
Only her dewy tears may lave
The mighty answer of the shaken sky
To his supreme behest; the call
Of Ibex that behold on high
And see the pale moon quiver and depart
Far beyond space, the sun ascend
And draw earth's globe unto his heart
To make an end;
The shriek of startled birds; the sobs that tear
With sudden terror the sharp sea
That slept, and wove its golden hair
The rending of the earth at his command
Who wields the wrath of heaven, and is dumb;
Hell starts up - and before his hand
I heard these voices, and beheld afar
These dread works wrought at his behest:
And on his forehead, lo! a star,
And on his breast.
And on his feet I knew the sandals were
More beautiful than flame, and white,
And on the glory of his hair
The crown of night.
And I beheld his robe, and on its hem
Were writ unlawful words to say,
Broidered like lilies, with a gem
More clear than day.
And round him shone so wonderful a light
As when on Galilee
Jesus once walked, and clove the night,
And calmed the sea.
I scarce could see his features for the fire
That dwelt about his brow,
Yet, for the whiteness of my own desire,
I see him now;
Because my footsteps follow his, and tread
The awful bounds of heaven, and make
The very graves yield up their dead,
And high thrones shake;
Because my eyes still steadily behold
And dazzle not, nor shun the night,
The foam - born lamp of beaten gold
And secret might;
Because my forehead bears the sacred Name,
And my lips bear the brand
Of Him whose heaven is one flame,
Whose holy hand
Gathers this earth, who built the vaults of space,
Moulded the stars, and fixed the iron sea,
Because His love lights through my face
And all of me.
Because my hand may fasten on the sword
Of my heart falter not, and smite
Those lampless limits most abhorred
Of iron night,
And pass beyond their horror to attack
Fresh foemen, light and truth to bring
Through their untrodden fields of black,
A victor king.
I know all must be well, all must be free;
I know God as I know a friend;
I conquer, and most silently
Await the end.
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