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Easter Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Good Friday by Christina Rossetti
  2. Easter Heralds by Anonymous
  3. East and Easter by Anonymous
  4. In the Garden by Amos Russel Wells
  5. Rise by Anonymous
  6. The Easter Test by Anonymous
  7. On Looking at a Picture of the Crucifixion by Anonymous
  8. The Perfect Festival by Anonymous
  9. 'T was a long parting, but the time by Emily Dickinson
  10. An Easter Hymn by John Charles McNeill
  11. Easter Gladness by Ruby Archer

  1. Good Friday

    by Christina Rossetti

    Am I a stone and not a sheep
    That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
    To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss,
    And yet not weep?

    Not so those women loved
    Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
    Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
    Not so the thief was moved;

    Not so the Sun and Moon
    Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
    A horror of great darkness at broad noon,—
    I, only I.

    Yet give not o'er,
    But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
    Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
    And smite a rock.

  2. Easter Heralds

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Who came from the tomb
    When Jesus came,
    To scatter our gloom
    With his living name?
    'Twas the angel Hope,
    Whose sunbeams go
    To the farthest scope
    Of our darkest woe.
    Hope came from the tomb
    When the Saviour came.

    Who came from the tomb
    When Jesus came,
    In the bursting bloom
    Of a world aflame?
    It was Joy, the angel,
    Who sang and sang
    Till the glad evangel
    Through the wide world rang.
    Joy came from the tomb
    When the Saviour came.

    Who came from the tomb
    When Jesus came
    From the conquered doom
    Of our sin and shame?
    It was Love, supreme
    Of the angel host,
    And her graces gleam
    Where we need them most.
    Love came from the tomb
    When the Saviour came.

  3. East and Easter

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Out of the East the royal Sun,
    Sign of a glad new day begun,
    Out of the East, to heal and bless,
    Rises the Sun of Righteousness:
    Out of the East is Easter.

    Out of the East the Stars arise,
    Myriad suns of other skies;
    So is Judaea's Saviour found
    Lord of all races the Earth around:
    Out of the East is Easter.

    Out of the East the Wise Men came,
    Led by the wondrous, heavenly flame,
    Now the King of their starry lore
    Rises to reign forever more:
    Out of the East is Easter.

    Out of the East the warmth and power,
    Light and love for the living hour,
    Joy unceasing and full and free,
    Meant for the lowliest, even me:
    Out of the East is Easter.

  4. In the Garden

    by Amos Russel Wells

    I think that still, as Easter morn dawns nigh,
    Damascus Gate, and all the wall thereby,
    Must breathe a trembling and expectant sigh

    I think the garden places and the street
    Passed by the Saviour's resurrection feet
    Still quiver at the memory high and sweet.

    I think the very pebbles glittering bare
    And all the flowers in the garden fair,
    Are thrilled as if the Saviour still were there.

    And who will say He does not there return,
    Since in our own glad hearts that throb and burn
    His radiant Easter presence we discern?

  5. Rise

    by Anonymous

    Rise from thoughts of shame and sin,
    From passions fierce that burn within;
    Rise! a better life begin,
    All free from hate and scorning.
    Rise! from weakness into might;
    Rise! from wrong to Joyous right;
    Rise! from darkness to the light
    Of Easter in the morning.

    Rise, for royal heralds call.
    Angel songs that soar and fall,
    Golden glories over all,
    Earth and skies adorning.
    Rise, for inner voices plead;
    Rise from lower thought and deed,
    Follow where the angels lead
    On Easter in the morning.

    Rise! for soon you may not rise;
    Soul unheeding dwarfs and dies;
    Not for aye may one be wise;
    For To-day the warning!
    Lo! the range of endless years,
    Other lives and other spheres,
    Your eternity appears
    At Easter in the morning.

  6. The Easter Test

    by Anonymous

    If I had seen the Master on that morning
    All glorious with resurrection light,
    Beyond the might of men and evil scorning,
    How would my soul have met the splendid sight?

    Would I have hastened eager to adore Him,
    My spirit caught in rapture strangely sweet?
    Would I have run to lay my heart hefore Him?
    Would I have fallen trembling at his feet?

    Or would a sudden fear have held me rigid,
    And would my sins have heen a barrier high,
    And would my doubts have bound me stiff and frigid
    In sullen coldness while the Lord passed by?

    I need not ask, for still my Lord comes near me,
    Life evermore victorious from the grave;
    And still he calls, "O brother do not fear me!"
    And still his eager hands are stretched to save.

    All days are Easter days and bring the testing
    Of lower calls and summons from above,
    O haste, my soul, unhurried and uuresting,
    To meet the Lord of and claim His love.

  7. On Looking at a Picture of the Crucifixion

    by Anonymous

    Turn from the world mine eyes and see
    This mournful sight of Calvary;
    See Him expiring on the cross,
    The Son of God! to ransom us.

    Behold His feet, His hands, how torn!
    His sacred temples pierced with thorns:
    An emblem of the curse He bore
    For us, our lost estate t' restore.

    "'Tis finished!" the Redeemer cried,
    Then bow'd His sacred head and died;
    The price is paid, the prisoners freed,
    And death and hell are captive led.

    Then from the cross He's taken down,
    Securely laid within the tomb;
    From whence He rose, and lives on high,
    To plead for us eternally.

  8. The Perfect Festival

    by Anonymous

    Out of mystery and gloom,
    Out of sorrow and the tomb,
    Comes a carol brave and gay,
    Comes the breaking of the day.

    Christmas is a time of cheer
    In the winter of the year,
    But its presents often wear
    Quite a mercenary air.

    Patriotic banners fly
    On the fourth day of July,
    But the essence of its joys
    Lies in crude, barbaric noise.

    Often quaint Thanksgiving finds
    Discontented, anxious minds,--
    Less a festival of praise
    Than the greediest of days.

    Ah, but Easter, purely born
    Of the lily and the thorn,
    With no touch of base alloy,
    You are joy and only joy!

  9. 'T was a long parting, but the time

    by Emily Dickinson

    'T was a long parting, but the time
    For interview had come;
    Before the judgment-seat of God,
    The last and second time

    These fleshless lovers met,
    A heaven in a gaze,
    A heaven of heavens, the privilege
    Of one another's eyes.

    No lifetime set on them,
    Apparelled as the new
    Unborn, except they had beheld,
    Born everlasting now.

    Was bridal e'er like this?
    A paradise, the host,
    And cherubim and seraphim
    The most familiar guest.

  10. An Easter Hymn

    by John Charles McNeill

    The Sun has come again and fed
    The lily's lamp with light,
    And raised from dust a rose, rich red,
    And a little star-flower, white;
    He also guards the Pleiades
    And holds his planets true:
    But we—we know not which of these
    The easier task to do.

    But, since from heaven he stoops to breathe
    A flower to balmy air,
    Surely our lives are not beneath
    The kindness of his care;
    And, as he guides the blade that gropes
    Up from the barren sod,
    So, from the ashes of our hopes,
    Will beauty grow toward God.

    Whate'er thy name, O Soul of Life,—
    We know but that thou art,—
    Thou seest, through all our waste of strife,
    One groping human heart,
    Weary of words and broken sight,
    But moved with deep accord
    To worship where thy lilies light
    The altar of its Lord.

  11. Easter Gladness

    by Ruby Archer

    Hail, Easter, font of soul-refreshing springs!
    Now Nature's heart is softened by warm rains,
    And spring-born joys are beating in her veins.
    Creation all one thrilling anthem rings.
    The balmy winds, like rush of angels' wings,
    Are wafting snow-dreams from awaking lanes,
    And bearing spirit to the waiting plains,
    While drifting, rain-sweet clouds thy dawning brings.
    Pure, lovely lilies, sacred to the day,
    With bended heads are standing, whitely dressed,
    Like souls of children whom in life He blessed;
    And in their incense-homage lowly say,
    "Forget not all His mercies! Lift thy voice
    And sing! The Lord is risen! Earth, Heaven, rejoice!"

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