Then, gliding through th’
Smooth without step or sound,
“Peace to your souls,” He said—no more —
They own Him, kneeling round.
Eye, ear, and hand, and loving heart,
Body and soul in every part,
Successive made His witnesses that hour,
Cease not in all the world to show His saving power.
Is there, on earth, a spirit frail,
Who fears to take their word,
Scarce daring, through the twilight pale,
To think he sees the Lord?
With eyes too tremblingly awake
To bear with dimness for His sake?
Read and confess the Hand Divine
That drew thy likeness here so true in every line.
For all thy rankling doubts so sore,
Love thou thy Saviour still,
Him for thy Lord and God adore,
And ever do His will.
Though vexing thoughts may seem to last,
Let not thy soul be quite o’ercast; —
Soon will He show thee all His wounds, and say,
“Long have I known Thy name—know thou My face alway.”
And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me? And he said, Who art Thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. Acts ix. 4, 5.
The mid-day sun, with fiercest glare,
Broods o’er the hazy twinkling air:
Along the level sand
The palm-tree’s shade unwavering lies,
Just as thy towers, Damascus, rise
To greet you wearied band.
The leader of that martial crew
Seems bent some mighty deed to do,
So steadily he speeds,
With lips firm closed and fixed eye,
Like warrior when the fight is night,
Nor talk nor landscape heeds.
What sudden blaze is round him poured,
As though all Heaven’s refulgent hoard
In one rich glory shone?
One moment—and to earth he falls:
What voice his inmost heart appalls? —
Voice heard by him alone.
For to the rest both words and form
Seem lost in lightning and in storm,
While Saul, in wakeful trance,
Sees deep within that dazzling field
His persecuted Lord revealed,
With keen yet pitying glance:
And hears time meek upbraiding call
As gently on his spirit fall,
As if th’ Almighty Son
Were prisoner yet in this dark earth,
Nor had proclaimed His royal birth,
Nor His great power begun.
“Ah! wherefore persecut’st thou Me?”
He heard and saw, and sought to free
His strained eyes from the sight:
But Heaven’s high magic bound it there,
Still gazing, though untaught to bear
Th’ insufferable light.
“Who art Thou, Lord?” he falters forth:-
So shall Sin ask of heaven and earth
At the last awful day.
“When did we see Thee suffering nigh,
And passed Thee with unheeding eye?
Great God of judgment, say!”