Women of the Early Harlem Renaissance: African American Women Writers 1900-1922

The Empty Tomb.

   Calv'ry's tragedy is ended;
      They have laid Him in the tomb,
And with jealous care, His enemies have sealed it;
   But they cannot keep Him there,
   For an earthquake rends the air,
And an angel rolls away the stone that
      closed it.

   None are there to greet the Savior,
     As He leaves the open tomb.
All forgotten are the promises He gave them;
   And the women wend their way
   To the tomb, ere it is day;
Not in faith, for death's sad emblems bring
      they with them.

   Oh, the darkness of that morning,
      When they stood before His tomb,
With the spices and the ointments to anoint Him!
   And I hear sad Mary say:
   "They have taken Him away.
And I know not, and I know not where
       they've laid Him."

   Oh, ye ones of faithless doubting!
      Know ye not what Jesus said.
While in life, His toil to you was freely given?
   Now ye stand, with hearts of woe.
   While your bitter tears doth flow,
Knowing not your Lord and Savior has arisen.

   Then the Savior speaks to Mary,
      And at first, she- knows Him not,
For her eyes are darkened by her doubts and sadness;
   Then, He speaks to her again,
   Gently calls her by her name.
And she greets her risen Lord with wondrous gladness.

   Often in the Christians' struggle,
      When the battle rages sore,
And on ev'ry side the bitter foes assail them,
   E'en like her, they sadly say:—
   "They have taken Him away,
And I know not, and I know not where
      they've laid Him."

   And, like her, with bitter weeping.
      As they face the empty tomb,
All His promises and wondrous deeds forgotten,
   If they'd turn, they'd find Him near,
   With such loving words of cheer,
That they'd know 'twas doubt, that made
      them feel forsaken.

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