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I Heard Immanuel Singing
by [?]


(The poem shows the Master, with his work done, singing to free his heart in Heaven.)

This poem is intended to be half said, half sung, very softly, to the well-known tune:–

“Last night I lay a-sleeping,
There came a dream so fair,
I stood in Old Jerusalem
Beside the temple there,–” etc.

Yet this tune is not to be fitted on, arbitrarily. It is here given to suggest the manner of handling rather than determine it.

[# To be sung. #]

I heard Immanuel singing
Within his own good lands,
I saw him bend above his harp.
I watched his wandering hands
Lost amid the harp-strings;
Sweet, sweet I heard him play.
His wounds were altogether healed.
Old things had passed away.

All things were new, but music.
The blood of David ran
Within the Son of David,
Our God, the Son of Man.
He was ruddy like a shepherd.
His bold young face, how fair.
Apollo of the silver bow
Had not such flowing hair.

[# To be read very softly, but in spirited response. #]

I saw Immanuel singing
On a tree-girdled hill.
The glad remembering branches
Dimly echoed still
The grand new song proclaiming
The Lamb that had been slain.
New-built, the Holy City
Gleamed in the murmuring plain.

The crowning hours were over.
The pageants all were past.
Within the many mansions
The hosts, grown still at last,
In homes of holy mystery
Slept long by crooning springs
Or waked to peaceful glory,
A universe of Kings.

[# To be sung. #]

He left his people happy.
He wandered free to sigh
Alone in lowly friendship
With the green grass and the sky.
He murmured ancient music
His red heart burned to sing
Because his perfect conquest
Had grown a weary thing.

No chant of gilded triumph–
His lonely song was made
Of Art’s deliberate freedom;
Of minor chords arrayed
In soft and shadowy colors
That once were radiant flowers:–
The Rose of Sharon, bleeding
In Olive-shadowed bowers:–

And all the other roses
In the songs of East and West
Of love and war and worshipping,
And every shield and crest
Of thistle or of lotus
Or sacred lily wrought
In creeds and psalms and palaces
And temples of white thought:–

[# To be read very softly, yet in spirited response. #]

All these he sang, half-smiling
And weeping as he smiled,
Laughing, talking to his harp
As to a new-born child:–
As though the arts forgotten
But bloomed to prophecy
These careless, fearless harp-strings,
New-crying in the sky.

[# To be sung. #]

“When this his hour of sorrow
For flowers and Arts of men
Has passed in ghostly music,”
I asked my wild heart then–
What will he sing to-morrow,
What wonder, all his own
Alone, set free, rejoicing,
With a green hill for his throne?
What will he sing to-morrow
What wonder all his own
Alone, set free, rejoicing,
With a green hill for his throne?