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Grey streaks of dawn had shot athwart the gloom,
While stalwart soldiers watched around the tomb;
But suddenly there comes an awful shock
Which opes the tomb and shakes the solid rock.
A mighty Angel rolls away the stone,
While on his face the light of heaven shone;
The stricken guards fall prostrate on the earth,
The scene has hushed their jibes and songs of mirth.
The Resurrection Jesus leaves the cave,
O'er death triumphant, Conqueror of the grave;
The prostrate guards, still trembling with affright,
Creep from the place and take themselves to flight.
They reach the city and the story tell
Of what they saw, and what to them befell;
The wicked priests persuade the guards with gold
To tell a lie, to quash the truth they told.
They might as well have tried to quench the sun
As hide the light and stop the work begun;
The risen Lord to chosen saints appears,
"The Lord is risen" thrills his people's ears.
The wondering Angels linger at the cave,
And talk of him who came the world to save;
The weeping women come at morning light
And start to see the strange, mysterious sight.
The sympathising Angels kindly say,
"The Lord is risen--see the place he lay,
Go tell the loved disciples of your Lord
That it has been according to his word."
They run and tell the thrilling news, but they
Gave little heed to what they heard them say;
But John and Peter ran and reached the cave
And found that Christ had risen from the grave.
They leave the place, awed with strange hopes and fears,
But lingering, loving, weeping Mary hears
The Master's voice, to her divinely sweet,
And shouts Rabboni, while she clasps his feet--
The blood stained feet she once washed with her tears
When Jesus saved her from her guilty fears.
The sad Disciples meet again that night,
And suddenly they see a glorious sight;
Their risen Master in their midst appears,
Dispels their doubts and calms their rising fears.
Week after week the Saviour comes and shows
The wounds inflicted by his cruel foes.
For forty days the resurrection Lord
Oft met his own and cheered them by his word;
Then from their midst they see their Lord arise,
And wing his flight towards the upper skies.
And while they gaze with wondering affright
A passing cloud receives him from their sight.
Two sons of light assuage their rising fears
And whisper words of comfort in their ears--
"Cease from your sorrows, and from tears refrain,
For this same Jesus shall return again."
Ten days they wait to be endued with power,
And on them falls the penticostal shower--
The Spirit comes their rapture to inspire,
And on them rests like cloven tongues of fire.
And thus endowed they hasten to proclaim
Salvation in the risen Saviour's name;
The Lord is risen! let the people sing
The grave is conquered, death has lost his sting.
The new and living way is now made known
From sin and death up to his glorious throne;
Then shout for joy! Ye sons of earth arise
And waft your loud hosannas to the skies!
Sing of the triumphs of your conquering Lord!
Sing of his love! His mighty deeds record.
The Lord is risen. Sing the loud refrain
That as he rose so shall we rise again.