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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 386 pages of information about Poems by Jean Ingelow, In Two Volumes, Volume II..

It came to pass,
While he was speaking, that the curtains swayed;
A rushing wind did move throughout the place,
And all the pillars shook, and on the head
Of Noah the hair was lifted, and there played
A somewhat, as it were a light, upon
His breast; then fell a darkness, and men heard
A whisper as of one that spake.  With that,
The daunted mighty ones kept silent watch
Until the wind had ceased and darkness fled. 
When it grew light, there curled a cloud of smoke
From many censers where the dragon lay. 
It hid him.  He had called his ministrants,
And bid them veil him thus, that none might look;
Also the folk who came with Noah had fled.

But Noah was seen, for he stood up erect,
And leaned on Japhet’s hand.  Then, after pause,
The Leader said, “My brethren, it were well
(For naught we fear) to let this sorcerer speak.” 
And they did reach toward the man their staves,
And cry with loud accord, “Hail, sorcerer, hail!”

And he made answer, “Hail!  I am a man
That is a shipwright.  I was born afar
To Lamech, him that reigns a king, to wit,
Over the land of Jalal.  Majesties,
I bring a message,—­lay you it to heart;
For there is wrath in heaven:  my God is wroth. 
‘Prepare your houses, or I come,’ saith He,
‘A Judge.’  Now, therefore, say not in your hearts,
‘What have we done?’ Your dogs may answer that,
To make whom fiercer for the chase, ye feed
With captives whom ye slew not in the war,
But saved alive, and living throw to them
Daily.  Your wives may answer that, whose babes
Their firstborn ye do take and offer up
To this abhorred snake, while yet the milk
Is in their innocent mouths,—­your maiden babes
Tender.  Your slaves may answer that,—­the gangs
Whose eyes ye did put out to make them work
By night unwitting (yea, by multitudes
They work upon the wheel in chains).  Your friends
May answer that,—­(their bleached bones cry out.)
For ye did, wickedly, to eat their lands,
Turn on their valleys, in a time of peace,
The rivers, and they, choking in the night,
Died unavenged.  But rather (for I leave
To tell of more, the time would be so long
To do it, and your time, O mighty ones,
Is short),—­but rather say, ’We sinners know
Why the Judge standeth at the door,’ and turn
While yet there may be respite, and repent.

“‘Or else,’ saith He that formed you, ’I swear,
By all the silence of the times to come,
By the solemnities of death,—­yea, more,. 
By Mine own power and love which ye have scorned,
That I will come.  I will command the clouds,
And raining they shall rain; yea, I will stir
With all my storms the ocean for your sake,
And break for you the boundary of the deep.

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