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How shall I laugh and sing and dance ?
My very heart recoils,
A hungry brother toils.
(From Part First, scene v) "There is no God,” the wicked saith,
"And truly it's a blessing, For what He might have done with us
It's better only guessing." "There is no God," a youngster thinks, 5
“Or really, if there may be, He surely did not mean a man
Always to be a baby. “There is no God, or if there is,"
The tradesman thinks,“ 'twere funny 10 If He should take it ill in me
To make a little money." “Whether there be,” the rich man says,
"It matters very little, For I and mine, thank somebody,
Are not in want of victual."
(From Part Second, scene 11) Where are the great, whom thou would'st
wish to praise thee? Where are the pure, whom thou would'st
choose to love thee? Where are the brave, to stand supreme
above thee, Whose high commands would cheer, whose
chiding raise thee? Seek, seeker, in thyself; submit to find s In the stones, bread, and life in the blank
EASTER DAY (Naples, 1849)
Through the great sinful streets of Naples
as I passed, With fiercer heat than Aamed above my
head My heart was hot within me; till at last My brain was lightened when my tongue
5 Christ is not risen, no
He lies and moulders low;
If not where Joseph laid Him first, why As circulates in some great city crowd then
A rumor changeful, vague, importunate, Where other men
Or authorship exact,
Which no man can deny
Nor verify; done,
So spread the wondrous fame; Which here she scarcely, lightly, had He all the same begun:
Lay senseless, mouldering, low: The foul engendered worm
He was not risen, no
Christ was not risen!
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
As of the unjust, also of the just -
Yea, of that Just One, too!
This is the one sad Gospel that is true What if the women, ere the dawn was
Christ is not risen! gray,
Is He not risen, and shall we not rise? Saw one or more great angels, as they
Oh, we unwise! say
What did we dream, what wake we to (Angels, or Him himself)? Yet neither
discover? there, nor then,
Ye hills, fall on us, and ye mountains, Nor afterwards, nor elsewhere, nor at all,
cover! Hath He appeared to Peter or the Ten;
In darkness and great gloom Nor save in thunderous terror, to blind
Come ere we thought it is our day of Saul;
doom; Save in an after Gospel and late Creed, 30
From the cursed world, which is one tomb,
Christ is not risen!
Eat, drink, and play, and think that this is Or, what if e'en, as runs a tale, the Ten
bliss: Saw, heard, and touched, again and yet There is no heaven but this;
There is no hell, What if at Emmaus' inn, and by Caper Save earth, which serves the purpose naum's Lake,
doubly well, Came One, the bread that brake
Seeing it visits still Came One that spake as never mortal With equalest apportionment of ill spake,
Both good and bad alike, and brings to one And with them ate, and drank, and stood,
The unjust and the just
With Christ, who is not risen.
Eat, drink, and die, for we are souls beNor heard, nor spake, nor walked, nor
reaved: lived, alas!
Of all the creatures under heaven's wide He was not risen, no —
cope He lay and mouldered low,
We are most hopeless, who had once Christ was not risen!
And most beliefless, that had most be Him neither here nor there ye e'er shall lieved.
meet with more. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
Ye poor deluded youths, go home, As of the unjust, also of the just
Mend the old nets ye left to roam, Yea, of that Just One too!
Tie the split oar, patch the torn sail; It is the one sad gospel that is It was indeed an “idle tale". true
He was not risen!
And, oh, good men of ages yet to be,
120 Weep not beside the tomb,
Oh, be ye warned, be wise!
Nor more with pleading eyes, Ye women, unto whom
And sobs of strong desire, He was great solace while ye tended
Unto the empty vacant void aspire, Ye who with napkin o'er the head 90
Seeking another and impossible birth And folds of linen round each wounded
That is not of your own and only mother
earth. limb Laid out the Sacred Dead;
But if there is no other life for you, And thou that bar'st Him in thy wonder
Sit down and be content, since this must ing womb;
He is not risen!
One look, and then depart,
Ye humble and ye holy men of bleeding heart:
And ye! ye ministers and stewards of a Go to your homes, your living children
Which ye would preach, because another Your earthly spouses love;
heard Set your affections not on things
Ye worshippers of that ye do not above,
know, Which moth and rust corrupt, which Take these things hence and go: quickliest come to end:
He is not risen!
135 Or pray, if pray ye must, and pray, if pray ye can,
Here, on our Easter Day For death; since dead is He whom ye
We rise, we come, and lo! we find Him deemed more than man,
not, Who is not risen: no
Gardener nor other, on the sacred spot: But lies and moulders low
Where they have laid Him there is none to
- no word Ye men of Galilee!
105 Of where to seek the dead or meet the Why stand ye looking up to heaven, where living Lord. Him ye ne'er may see,
There is no glistering of an angel's wings, Neither ascending hence, nor returning There is no voice of heavenly clear behest: hither again?
Let us go hence, and think upon these Ye ignorant and idle fishermen!
things Hence to your huts, and boats, and inland In silence, which is best. native shore,
Is He not risen? NoAnd catch not men, but fish;
But lies and moulders low? Whate'er things ye might wish,
Christ is not risen?
Hope conquers cowardice, joy grief;
Though dead, not dead;
Christ is yet risen.
AH! YET CONSIDER IT AGAIN!
"Old things need not be therefore true,"
So in the sinful streets, abstracted and
alone, I with my secret self held communing of
mine own. So in the southern city spake the tongue Of one that somewhat overwildly sung, But in a later hour I sat and heard Another voice that spake
another graver word. Weep not, it bade, whatever hath been
In the true creed
Christ is yet risen.
grief; Nor ye, ye faithful few that wont with
Him to roam, Seek sadly what for Him ye left, go hope
less to your home; Nor ye despair, ye sharers yet to be of
Christ is yet risen.
around. Whate'er befell,
Earth is not hell; Now, too, as when it first began, Life is yet life, and man is man. For all that breathe beneath the heaven's
high cope, Joy with grief mixes, with despondence