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The Sceptre of Life

The Sceptre of Life

The servant sun illumined the orient,
Threw back the sable curtains of the night
And introduced the day. It was dawn
Different from every other it had known
Since first its ordered functions it performed
At God’s command. A man had conquered death;
Not only for the future, but unlocked
Its ancient prison-house for all His own,
And kept the mighty keys. High heaven had mocked
The seal of Rome upon the Son of God:
An angel of the Lord rolled back the stone,
And sat on it. It was exceeding great;
Too great for feeble human hands to move.
It was the stone of death. O morn of morns
That ne’er shall know a wall! The Prince of Life
In pure humanity had come: A Man:
And at Golgotha died: “Place of the skull:”
The empty skull: died for the sons of death
With death at His command. Composedly
The napkin that had bound His thorn-pierced head
He laid aside; folded and put away,
As workmen lay aside their overalls
When they their work have done. And He arose;
Arose, the Lord of all. O morn of Morns!

Hail, “The Last Adam” o’er a deathless scene;
Head of the New Creation out of death;
Alive for evermore! By death destroyed,
The tyrant of the empty skull is crushed,
The orb of irony goes down before
The sceptre-triumph of the empty tomb.

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