John Hay

(8 October 1838 – 1 July 1905 / Salem, Indiana)

Mount Tabor - Poem by John Hay

On Tabor's height a glory came,
And, shrined in clouds of lambent flame,
The awestruck, hushed disciples saw
Christ and the prophets of the law.
Moses, whose grand and awful face
Of Sinai's thunder bore the trace,
And wise Elias, in his eyes
The shade of Israel's prophecies,
Stood in that wide, mysterious light,
Than Syrian noons more purely bright,
One on each hand, and high between
Shone forth the godlike Nazarene.
They bowed their heads in holy fright,
No mortal eyes could bear the sight,
And when they looked again, behold!
The fiery clouds had backward rolled,
And borne aloft in grandeur lonely,
Nothing was left "save Jesus only."

Resplendent type of things to be!
We read its mystery to-day
With clearer eyes than even they,
The fisher-saints of Galilee.
We see the Christ stand out between
The ancient law and faith serene,
Spirit and letter; but above
Spirit and letter both was Love.

Led by the hand of Jacob's God,
Through wastes of eld a path was trod
By which the savage world could move
Upward through law and faith to love.
And there in Tabor's harmless flame
The crowning revelation came.
The old world knelt in homage due,
The prophets near in reverence drew,
Law ceased its mission to fulfill,
And Love was lord on Tabor's hill.

So now, while creeds perplex the mind
And wranglings load the weary wind,
When all the air is filled with words
And texts that ring like clashing swords,
Still, as for refuge, we may turn
Where Tabor's shining glories burn,
The soul of antique Israel gone,
And nothing left but Christ alone.


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Read poems about / on: faith, lonely, world, wind, alone, light, god, love



Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 4, 2003



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