The Lord will come! the earth shall quake,
The hills their fixèd seat forsake;
And, withering, from the vault of night
The stars withdraw their feeble light.
The Lord will come! but not the same
As once in lowly form He came,
A silent Lamb to slaughter led
The bruised, the suffering, and the dead.
The Lord will come! a dreadful form
With wreath of flame, and robe of storm,
On cherub wings, and wings of wind,
Anointed Judge of humankind!
Can this be He Who wont1 to stray
A pilgrim on the world’s highway;
By power oppress’d, and mock’d by pride?
Oh God! is this the Crucified?
Go, tyrants! to the rocks complain!
Go, seek the mountain cleft in vain!
But faith, victorious o’er the tomb,
Shall sing for joy—the Lord is come!
(Special thanks to our friend Pastor Bruce Wasson for his special gift of
The Poetical Works of Reginald Heber, Late Lord Bishop of Calcutta
by M. A. DeWolfe Howe , from which this poem was taken.)
- Wont: An old word meaning used to or was accustomed to. Thus the poet, awed by the contrast, is asking, “Can this glorious, returning Christ be the same Man Who walked the earth?” ↩