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Easter Morning


Tomb, thou shalt not hold Him longer:

Death is strong, but life is stronger;

Stronger than the dark, the light;

Stronger than the wrong, the right;

Faith and hope triumphant say,

"Christ will rise on Easter Day!"


While the patient earth lies waking

Till the morning shall be breaking,

Shuddering 'neath the burden dread

Of her Master, cold and dead,

Hark! she hears the angels say,

"Christ will rise on Easter Day!"


And when sunrise smites the mountains,

Pouring light from heavenly fountains,

Then the earth blooms out to greet

Once again the blessed feet;

And her countless voices say:

"Christ has risen on Easter Day!"


-- Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)


Easter Must Be Reclaimed


Easter must be redeemed

From revelry that marks the end of Lent,

And worshippers who yearly are content

To journey to God's house, and then forget

That Christ still lives when Easter's sun has set.

The vision fades the power soon is lost

If Easter does not lead to Pentecost.


Easter must be reclaimed.

Too long the world has missed the Easter glow,

Claimed by the glitter of a fashion show;

A dress parade; a gala holiday,

With church-bound manikins upon display.

The faith of Easter never will be caught

By making Christ a fleeting afterthought.


-- George W. Wiseman

If Easter Be Not True


If Easter be not true,

Then all the lilies low must lie;

The Flanders poppies fade and die;

The spring must lose her fairest bloom

For Christ were still within the tomb--

If Easter be not true.


If Easter be not true,

Then faith must mount on broken wing;

Then hope no more immortal spring;

Then love must lose her mighty urge;

Life prove a phantom, death a dirge--

If Easter be not true.


If Easter be not true,

'Twere foolishness the cross to bear;

He died in vain who suffered there;

What matter though we laugh or cry,

Be good or evil, live or die,

If Easter be not true.


If Easter be not true--

But it is true, and Christ is risen!

And mortal spirit from its prison

Of sin and death with him may rise!

Worthwhile the struggle, sure the prize,

Since Easter, aye, is true!


-- Henry H. Barstow (1866-1944)




If it be all for naught, for nothingness

At last, why does God make the world so fair?

Why spill this golden splendor out across

The western hills, and light the silver lamp

Of eve? Why give me eyes to see, and soul

To love so strong and deep? Then, with a pang

This brightness stabs me through, and wakes within

Rebellious voice to cry against all death?

Why set this hunger for eternity

To gnaw my heartstrings through, if death ends all?

If death ends all, then evil must be good,

Wrong must be right, and beauty ugliness.

God is a Judas who betrays his Son,

And with a kiss, damns all the world to hell,--

If Christ rose not again.


-- Unknown soldier, killed in World War I



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