Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
St. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
John Keble (1792–1866)
 
*        *        *        *        *
  ’TWAS silent all and dead 1
    Beside the barren sea,
  Where Philip’s steps were led,
    Led by a voice from Thee—
He rose and went, nor ask’d Thee why,        5
Nor stay’d to heave one faithless sigh:
 
  Upon his lonely way
    The high-born traveller came,
  Reading a mournful lay
    Of “One who bore our shame, 2        10
Silent Himself, His name untold,
And yet His glories were of old.”
 
  To muse what Heaven might mean
    His wandering brow he rais’d,
  And met an eye serene        15
    That on him watchful gaz’d.
No hermit e’er so welcome cross’d
A child’s lone path in woodland lost.
 
  Now wonder turns to love;
    The scrolls of sacred lore        20
  No darksome mazes prove;
    The desert tires no more:
They bathe where holy waters flow,
Then on their way rejoicing go.
 
  They part to meet in heaven;        25
    But of the joy they share,
  Absolving and forgiven,
    The sweet remembrance bear.
Yes—mark him well, ye cold and proud,
Bewilder’d in a heartless crowd,        30
 
  Starting and turning pale
    At Rumour’s angry din—
  No storm can now assail
    The charm he wears within,
Rejoicing still, and doing good,        35
And with the thought of God imbu’d.
 
  No glare of high estate,
    No gloom of woe or want,
  The radiance can abate
    Where Heaven delights to haunt.        40
Sin only hides the genial ray,
And, round the Cross, makes night of day.
 
  Then weep it from thy heart;
    So may’st thou duly learn
  The intercessor’s part,        45
    Thy prayers and tears may earn
For fallen souls some healing breath,
Ere they have died th’ Apostate’s death.
 
Note 1. See Acts viii. 36–40. [back]
Note 2. Isaiah liii. 6–8. [back]
 
 
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