The Voices at the Throne by T. Westwood


A LITTLE child,

A little meek-faced, quiet village child,

Sat singing by her cottage door at eve

A low, sweet sabbath song. No human ear

Caught the faint melody,—no human eye

Beheld the upturned aspect, or the smile

That wreathed her innocent lips while they breathed

The oft-repeated burden of the hymn,

"Praise God! Praise God!"

A seraph by the throne

In full glory stood. With eager hand

He smote the golden harp-string, till a flood

Of harmony on the celestial air

Welled forth, unceasing. There with a great voice,

He sang the "Holy, holy evermore,

Lord God Almighty!" and the eternal courts

Thrilled with the rapture, and the hierarchies,

Angel, and rapt archangel, throbbed and burned

With vehement adoration.

Higher yet

Rose the majestic anthem, without pause,

Higher, with rich magnificence of sound,

 

To its full strength; and still the infinite heavens

Rang with the "Holy, holy evermore!"

Till, trembling with excessive awe and love,

Each sceptred spirit sank before the Throne

With a mute hallelujah.

But even then,

While the ecstatic song was at its height,

Stole in an alien voice,—a voice that seemed

To float, float upward from some world afar,—

A meek and childlike voice, faint, but how sweet!

That blended with the spirits' rushing strain,

Even as a fountain's music, with the roll

Of the reverberate thunder.

Loving smiles

Lit up the beauty of each angel's face

At that new utterance, smiles of joy that grew

More joyous yet, as ever and anon

Was heard the simple burden of the hymn,

"Praise God! praise God!"

And when the seraph's song

Had reached its close, and o'er the golden lyre

Silence hung brooding,—when the eternal courts

Rang with the echoes of his chant sublime,

Still through the abysmal space that wandering voice

Came floating upward from its world afar,

Still murmured sweet on the celestial air,

"Praise God! praise God!"