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And when the traitor's art
Had done its hateful part, And speechless he, and uncomplaining stood,
By cruel scourges torn,
While many a piercing thorn Bedew'd his godlike brow with streams of blood, And the coarse rabble, with insulting cry, Taunted his patient grief, and mock'd his agony.
When on the cross he hung
With parch'd and feverish tongue,
Till Earth's convulsive groan
Proclaim'd his spirit flown, While the hills trembled, and the rocks were rent, And heaven itself lay wrapt in distant gloom, And many a buried saint rose from hisburstingtomb.
What feeling then was thine?
Did thy pure heart repine
All sorrow slain at last,
And Death's dread empire past, Couldst thou rejoice, e'en while, thy arms enfolding His gentle corpse in their most pure embrace, Thou gazed'st thro'thy tears on that palelifeless face.
And when, his conflicts o'er,
Return'd, he rose triumphant o'er the tomb,
Oh! shared he not with thee
In tenderest sympathy
His joy and triumph for man's alter'd doom? Wast thou alone, of all he loved, forgot, The only friend on earth whom he remember'd not?
Where wast thou in that hour When he, by Death's dark power Enthrall'd erewhile in his sepulchral prison, Once more on earth was seen By faithful Magdalene? Why heardst not thou the greeting, " He hath
Come, see the place in which the Saviour lay; The seal is broken now, the stone is roll'd away?"
For many a day appear'd
That form and face revered Where brethren met, and many a word was spoken
By that divinest voice,
Which made their hearts rejoice In pain and peril; yet he left no token, By man recorded, of especial love, No word or thought of thee ere yet he went above.
We know not, nor may guess
(Or seem'd to sleep) once deeply felt tow'rd thee;
In heart and soul the same, E'en as in childhood he was wont to be, To lay his deathless trophies at thy feet, And all his pangs to thee and all his joys repeat.
Such things may well have been Too sacred to be seen By human eye, or told by human pen; And till thy aged breast Sank to its final rest, And thy form faded from the eyes of men, Such parting words may in its depths have dwelt As gave thee peace and joy which none but thou have felt.
But vain all efforts be,
Of venturous phantasy To such dim heights of shadowy thought to climb:
Almost unmeet it seems
To suffer her wild dreams
We deem thee bright and fair,
Almost as angels are,
To picture thee grown old,
Midst sorrows manifold,
With wrinkled brow, and locks of hoary gray, And eye grown dim and dull by years of slow decay.
Nor love our hearts the gloom
That rests upon the tomb Wherein thou lay'st, to hungry worms a prey,
Nor bear, in thought, to trace
Corruption's foul embrace Wasting thy sweet mortality away. Thou art too fair, too heavenly bright a thing To bear the loathly breath of such imagining.
But thee, with features mild, On thy celestial child Down looking in bright youth's resplendent
We cherish with fond heart; As many a limner's art Shadows thee forth, unsullied by the gloom Of years or mortal pain, thy gentle eyes Beaming forth Heaven's own love, like gleams from Paradise.
And yet methinks 'twere well Our foolish hearts should dwell On thy fair image e'er in its decay, Remembering that of old, Beneath the wormy mould, As we must lie, the Saviour's mother lay; Like us the grave, like us corruption saw, Subject, like us and ours, to Death's unbending law.
'Twas thine on earth to share Whatever griefs we bear, Christ's parent, yet our sister, and to thee Our reverent hearts look back O'er Time's mysterious track, As to the first by Heaven ordain'd to be A Christian matron, that most holy thing Which human thought can frame in allits wandering.
And woman, who began Then first to rank with man, His subject, but thenceforth no more his slave. Derives in part from thee Her righteous victory O'er injury and wrong, and o'er thy grave In thought laments, meet reverence to express To thee in Christian rights, her first great ancesXliii. ,[tress.
Such honours still be thine: Such wreaths for ever twine Around thy sepulchre as now we bring; Such greetings thither come, From many a Christian home, Where wife, and husband, and glad children sing At morn and eve their hymn of peace and love, For comfort here below, to Him who reigns above.
Let Christian maids from thee,