Alfred Noyes

(16 September 1880 – 25 June 1958 / Wolverhamton)

Slave And Emperor Poem by Alfred Noyes


'Our cavalry have rescued Nazareth from the enemy whose supermen
described Christianity as a creed for slaves.'


The Emperor mocked at Nazareth
In his almighty hour.
The Slave that bowed himself to death
And walked with slaves in Nazareth,
What were his words but wasted breath
Before that 'will to power'?

Yet, in the darkest hour of all,
When black defeat began,
The Emperor heard the mountains quake,
He felt the graves beneath him shake,
He watched his legions rally and break,
And he whimpered as they ran.

'I hear a shout that moves the earth,
A cry that wakes the dead!
Will no one tell me whence they come,
For all my messengers are dumb?
What power is this that comes to birth
And breaks my power?' he said.

Then, all around his foundering guns,
Though dawn was now not far,
The darkness filled with a living fear
That whispered at the Emperor's ear,
'_The armies of the dead draw near
Beneath an eastern star._'

_The trumpet blows in Nazareth.
The Slave is risen again.
Across the bitter wastes of death
The horsemen ride from Nazareth,
And the Power we mocked as wasted breath
Returns, in power, to reign;
Rides on, in white, through Nazareth,
To save His world again._

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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