Zoroaster.

A poem by Charles Hamilton Musgrove

I.

The light of a new day was on his brow,
The faith of a great dawn was on his tongue;
Out of the dark he raised his voice and sung
The high Messiah who should overthrow
The gods that Superstition crowned with might
And set above the world,--the coming Christ
Whose unshed blood should be the holy tryst
'Twixt man and his lost Eden, washing white
From his rebellious soul the serpent's blight.


II.

The fire that on the Magi's altars glowed
Spake to his soul in symbols and expressed
The immortal purity that without rest
Strives with the mortal grossness whose abode
Is in the heart. Their symboled fire showed One
Whose spirit on the altar of the world
Burns ceaselessly,--where, if all vice be hurled,
It shall be purged with fire that shall atone,--
Christ's love the flame, man's sin th' alchemic stone.


III.


The light of a new day was on his brow,
The faith of a great dawn was on his tongue;
Above the old Chaldean myths he sung
The message of the peace that men should know
Through God's own Son. Out of the hopeless night
He saw the star of Bethlehem arise,
And o'er the wasted gates of Paradise
Beheld it mount, and heard, to hail its light,
The everlasting groan of hell's despite.

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