The Coming Of The King.

A poem by Kate Seymour Maclean

"O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy atones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children." Isaiah, liv. 11-13.


As the sand of the desert is smitten
By hoof-beats that strike out a light,
A flash by which dumb things are litten,
The children of night;
So Thou who of old did'st create us,
Among the high gods the Most High,
Strike us with Thy brightness, and let us
Behold Thee, and die.

Grown old in blind anguish and travail,
Thy world thou mad'st sinless and free
Gropes on, with no power to unravel
The clue back to Thee:
Since his feet from Thy ways torn and bleeding
The long march of ages began,
And the gates of Thy sword-guarded Eden
Were closed upon man.

Fates thicken, and prophecies darken,
Grown up into blossom and fruit;
And we lean in these last days to hearken
The sound of Thy foot.
Not now as a star-fallen stranger,
By shepherds, and pilgrims adored,
As couched among kine in a manger,
An undeclared lord:

Not now in waste wilderness places,
And mountains, and wind-shaken seas,
Proclaiming to strange alien races
The gospel of peace;
Who rended'st the prey from the leopard,
With sorrowful wounding and strife,
The Priest--the Lamb slain--the Good Shepherd,
The way and the life.

Not the face that wept over the city
Nor that with its anguish of pain
In the garden, nnlightened by pity
Of angels or men;
Nor the suffering form, unreplying.
With the chrysm of death at its lips;
Cross-uplifted, and nail-pierced, and dying
In fateful eclipse:

But with all heaven's glory and splendour
Through the gates of the morning come down,
And with thrones and dominions to render
Him sceptre and crown!
With the Face beyond all men's thinking,
Beholden of all men's eyes;
And the earth in its gladness drinking
The light of the skies.

With the rapture of angels, the singing
Of radiant choirs unknown,
And the shouting of glad hosts bringing
Our King to His throne!
O City of David, the Golden,
That sittest in darkness so long,
No longer in chains thou art holden,
Break forth into song!

Arise, and upbuild thy waste places,
Take helmet and buckler and sword,
And gather from far-scattered races
The tribes of the Lord!
Thy Prince shall ride onward victorious;
Full strong are his arrows and fleet;
And high shall His throne he, and glorious
The place of His feet!

Set thy lips to the trumpet, awaken
The isles of the South and the North,
As the trees of the forest are shaken
When whirlwinds go forth:
Like the waves of the sea, like the thunder
Of armies, with jubilant voice,
A multitude no man can number
Shall sing and rejoice.

The kingdoms beyond the great river,
The uttermost isles of the sea,
And peoples and tribes shall deliver
Thy children to thee.
Once more shall thine ensign, the Lion
Of Judah, be o'er thee unfurled;
Once more shall thy gates be, O Zion,
Set wide to the world!

With hands stretched in mute supplication,
With longing, and weeping, and prayer,
We have waited for this, thy salvation,
In grief--not despair;
Till thy Lord to His temple descended,
Shall comfort thee, sorrowful one,
And the days of thy mourning be ended,
Thy triumph begun.

Till the mountains about thee assemble
Lost lights of the sun-dawn, rose-red,
White splendours, that point as they tremble
The path for His tread:
Through the hate of our foes, and their scorning
And dumb in the darkness we wake,
For the night is far spent--and the morning
In glory shall break.

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