A Pomegranate and a Bell (Poem by J.M.S. Tait)

A Pomegranate and a Bell

by J.M.S. Tait

With holy awe and reverent pace,
The Priest approached the Holy Place;
Attired in garments that became
The Place where God had set His Name.
His ephod shone with gold and gems,
While softly from the wreathen hems
The mellow music rose and fell,
From “a pomegranate and a bell,
A pomegranate and a bell”.

Today there’s still a Holy Place,
An Altar, and a priestly race.
A godly order still obtains,
The “Pattern of the House” remains.
Shall I invade that sacred shrine
And jangle through its calm divine,
With clamorous notes that plainly tell,
“No pomegranates, but a bell —
Another bell — and another bell”?

O for the grace that knows to suit
The outward sound to inward fruit;
That knows how well the music blends,
When lips confess and life commends;
That, though with boldness coming, brings
No reckless touch to holy things;
But hems the priestly garment well,
With “a pomegranate and a bell”,
“A pomegranate and a bell”.

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