For the Baptist

Original Text: 
William Drummond, Flowers of Sion (1623). Facs. edn. (Amsterdam: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1973). PR 2262 F5 1623A
1The last and greatest herald of heaven's king,
2Girt with rough skins, hies to the deserts wild,
3Among that savage brood the woods forth bring,
4Which he than man more harmless found and mild;
5His food was locusts and what young doth spring,
6With honey that from virgin hives distill'd;
7Parch'd body, hollow eyes, some uncouth thing
8Made him appear, long since from earth exil'd.
9There burst he forth: "All ye whose hopes rely
10On God, with me amidst these deserts mourn,
11Repent, repent, and from old errors turn."
12Who listen'd to his voice? obey'd his cry?
13    Only the echoes which he made relent,
14    Rung from their marble caves, "Repent, repent."
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
N. J. Endicott
RPO Edition: 
2RP.1.298; RPO 1996-2000.