Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
The Trial
George Alexander Chadwick (1840–1923)
 
THEY smote Messias on the face;
Even in their outraged judgment-place,
And all the furious concourse round
Rang with intense and passionate sound,
The scream of hate, the deadlier cry        5
Of craft and malice, “Crucify!”—
But vast and tranquil now the crowd
Whose anthems and whose harps are loud,
Stainless and numberless the throng
Which rings Thee round with rapturous song,        10
And earth shall see her Lord again,
Confessed of Angels and of men.
 
They rent from off Him, as He stood,
The purple, darkened with his blood;
Upon His brows the thorny crown        15
With blows their cruel hands beat down
(O Saviour, O my King, Thy soul
Felt all the billows o’er Thee roll),—
But who hath woven Thy raiment now?
What splendour burns about Thy brow?        20
Since e’en the saints who stand around
Are linen-robed and jewel-crowned.
 
A reed into His pinioned hand
Was thrust by that blaspheming band:
They laughed aloud at Israel’s King        25
Thus sceptred and thus triumphing.—
But no man, in these latter days,
Finds laughter in His gentle ways:
He neither strives nor cries; He goes
In silence amid clamouring foes;        30
Yet realms and ages rise and sing
Christ the supreme, the world-wide King.
The reed is in Thy hands, O God,
Victorious o’er the iron rod.
 
No longer friendless and forlorn,        35
Blasphemed, forsaken, and forsworn,
Betrayed, entrapped, and hunted down,—
But crowned with many an awful crown,
The crowns of Truth, and Life, and Love,
And hell beneath and heaven above;        40
And oft-times, when a saint holds breath
For terror in the Vale of Death,
He finds Thy footsteps printed there,
And learns to languish and to dare,
And holds Thy passion more divine        45
Than praising harps or gems that shine,
And crowns (but not as one who scorns)
His Captain with a crown of thorns.
 
 
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