Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 280 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II..

With that the old man laughed
Full softly.  “Ay,” quoth he, “a goodly world,
And we have done with it as we did list. 
Why did He give it us?  Nay, look you, son: 
Five score they were that died in yonder waste;
And if He crieth, ‘Repent, be reconciled,’
I answer, ‘Nay, my lizards’; and again,
If He will trouble me in this mine age,
‘Why hast Thou slain my lizards?’ Now my speech
Is cut away from all my other words,
Standing alone.  The Elder sweareth it,
The man of many days, Methuselah.” 
Then answered Noah, “My Master, hear it not;
But yet have patience”; and he turned himself,
And down betwixt the ordered trees went forth,
And in the light of evening made his way
Into the waste to meet the Voice of God.

BOOK III.

Above the head of great Methuselah
There lay two demons in the opened roof
Invisible, and gathered up his words;
For when the Elder prophesied, it came
About, that hidden things were shown to them,
And burdens that he spake against his time.

(But never heard them, such as dwelt with him;
Their ears they stopped, and willed to live at ease
In all delight; and perfect in their youth,
And strong, disport them in the perfect world.)

Now these were fettered that they could not fly,
For a certain disobedience they had wrought
Against the ruler of their host; but not
The less they loved their cause; and when the feet
O’ the Master-builder were no longer heard,
They, slipping to the sward, right painfully
Did follow, for the one to the other said,
“Behoves our master know of this; and us,
Should he be favorable, he may loose
From these our bonds.”

And thus it came to pass,
That while at dead of night the old dragon lay
Coiled in the cavern where he dwelt, the watch
Pacing before it saw in middle air
A boat, that gleamed like fire, and on it came,
And rocked as it drew near, and then it burst
And went to pieces, and there fell therefrom,
Close at the cavern’s mouth, two glowing balls.

Now there was drawn a curtain nigh the mouth
Of that deep cave, to testify of wrath. 
The dragon had been wroth with some that served,
And chased them from him; and his oracles,
That wont to drop from him, were stopped, and men
Might only pray to him through that fell web
That hung before him.  Then did whisper low
Some of the little spirits that bat-like clung
And clustered round the opening.  “Lo,” they said,
While gazed the watch upon those glowing balls,
“These are like moons eclipsed; but let them lie
Red on the moss, and sear its dewy spires,
Until our lord give leave to draw the web,
And quicken reverence by his presence dread,
For he will know and call to them by name,
And they will change.  At present he is sick,

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Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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