He is not here! Why seek ye, sadly grieving,
The living One among the dead? Why keep
This fruitless vigil, lonely, unbelieving,
While yet ’tis night, and the great world asleep?
How could ye think that death’s dark, doleful prison
Could hold the Son of God in durance vile?
O ye of little faith! The Lord is risen.
No more with floods of woe your cheeks defile.
He is not here! Behold the bands that bound Him,
The linen fine that lifeless limbs encased,
With which the trembling hands of lovers wound Him,
The napkin that His holy head embraced.
Nowhere the nervous haste of thieves appeareth;
Here no disorder of a coward flight;
This mighty stronghold shaken, shattered, weareth
The traces of a mightier Victor’s might.
He is not here! The power of death is broken
The son of Jesse has Goliath slain.
See in this riven, rocky keep the token
That death no longer shall despotic reign.
This casket holds the Prince of life no longer;
The powers of hell have felt the might of God
The strong man has been vanquished by the Stronger;
The Red Sea smitten by the Saviour’s rod.
He is not here! Behold, ye broken-hearted,
This seal dishonoured, and those keepers prone,
And yonder, through the veil of heaven parted,
The Son of God upon the Father’s throne.
Rejoice! Rejoice! The night of gloom and sorrow
Is passed for ever, and the glorious light
Of that long-looked for, everlasting morrow
Bursts from the cloudless blue, supremely bright.
He is not here! Hushed are our woes for ever.
The Victor’s shout has made the welkin ring.
All heaven rejoices, for again shall never
The creature suffer from the Serpent’s sting.
The keys of death and hell are in the keeping
Of Him, who from the dog my soul has freed.
With exultation great my soul is leaping—
HE IS NOT HERE! THE LORD IS RISEN INDEED!