The Everlasting Gospel
POEMS FROM THE ROSSETTI MANUSCRIPT PART III
Written circa 1810
The Vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my vision's greatest enemy.
Thine has a great hook
nose like thine,
Mine has a snub nose like to mine.
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind;
Mine speaks in
parables to the blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates;
Thy heaven doors are my hell gates.
taught what Meletus
Loath'd as a nation's bitterest curse,
And Caiaphas was in his own mind
Both read the Bible day and night,
But thou read'st black where I read white.
Was Jesus gentle, or did He
Give any marks of gentility?
When twelve years old He ran away,
left His parents in dismay.
When after three days' sorrow found,
Loud as Sinai's trumpet-sound:
parents I confess--
My Heavenly Father's business!
Ye understand not what I say,
And, angry, force Me
Obedience is a duty then,
And favour gains with God and men.
John from the wilderness loud
Satan gloried in his pride.
`Come,' said Satan, `come away,
I'll soon see if you'll obey!
John for disobedience
But you can turn the stones to bread.
God's high king and God's high priest
Shall plant their glories
in your breast,
If Caiaphas you will obey,
If Herod you with bloody prey
Feed with the sacrifice, and be
fall down, worship me.'
Thunders and lightnings broke around,
And Jesus' voice in thunders' sound:
seize the spiritual prey.
Ye smiters with disease, make way.
I come your King and God to seize,
Is God a
smiter with disease?'
The God of this world rag'd in vain:
He bound old Satan in His chain,
forth, His furious ire
Became a chariot of fire.
Throughout the land He took His course,
And trac'd diseases
to their source.
He curs'd the Scribe and Pharisee,
Trampling down hypocrisy.
Where'er His chariot took its
There Gates of Death let in the Day,
Broke down from every chain and bar;
And Satan in His spiritual
Dragg'd at His chariot-wheels: loud howl'd
The God of this world: louder roll'd
The chariot-wheels, and
His voice was heard from Zion's Hill,
And in His hand the scourge shone bright;
the merchant Canaanite
From out the Temple of His Mind,
And in his body tight does bind
Satan and all
his hellish crew;
And thus with wrath He did subdue
The serpent bulk of Nature's dross,
Till He had nail'd
it to the Cross.
He took on sin in the Virgin's womb
And put it off on the Cross and tomb
To be worshipp'd
by the Church of Rome.
Was Jesus humble? or did He
Give any proofs of humility?
Boast of high things with humble tone,
give with charity a stone?
When but a child He ran away,
And left His parents in dismay.
When they had
wander'd three days long
These were the words upon His tongue:
`No earthly parents I confess:
I am doing
My Father's business.'
When the rich learnèd Pharisee
Came to consult Him secretly,
Upon his heart with
He wrote `Ye must be born again.'
He was too proud to take a bribe;
He spoke with authority,
not like a Scribe.
He says with most consummate art
`Follow Me, I am meek and lowly of heart,
is the only way to escape
The miser's net and the glutton's trap.'
What can be done with such desperate
Who follow after the heathen schools?
I was standing by when Jesus died;
What I call'd humility,
they call'd pride.
He who loves his enemies betrays his friends.
This surely is not what Jesus intends;
the sneaking pride of heroic schools,
And the Scribes' and Pharisees' virtuous rules,
For He acts with honest,
And this is the cause that Jesus died.
He did not die with Christian ease,
of His enemies:
If He had, Caiaphas would forgive;
Sneaking submission can always live.
He had only
to say that God was the Devil,
And the Devil was God, like a Christian civil;
Mild Christian regrets to the
For affronting him thrice in the wilderness;
He had soon been bloody Caesar's elf,
last he would have been Caesar himself,
Like Dr. Priestly and Bacon and Newton--
Poor spiritual knowledge
is not worth a button!
For thus the Gospel Sir Isaac confutes:
`God can only be known by His attributes;
as for the indwelling of the Holy Ghost,
Or of Christ and His Father, it's all a boast
And pride, and vanity
of the imagination,
That disdains to follow this world's fashion.'
To teach doubt and experiment
was not what Christ meant.
What was He doing all that time,
From twelve years old to manly prime?
He then idle, or the less
About His Father's business?
Or was His wisdom held in scorn
Before His wrath
began to burn
In miracles throughout the land,
That quite unnerv'd the Seraph band?
If He had been Antichrist,
He'd have done anything to please us;
Gone sneaking into synagogues,
And not us'd the
Elders and Priests like dogs;
But humble as a lamb or ass
Obey'd Himself to Caiaphas.
God wants not
man to humble himself:
That is the trick of the Ancient Elf.
This is the race that Jesus ran:
Humble to God,