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The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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A crowd of people; coming, going, thronging
Round the disciples, that we left behind us,
Seeming impatient, that we stay so long.

It is some blind man, or some paralytic
That waits the Master's coming to be healed.

I see a boy, who struggles and demeans him
As if an unclean spirit tormented him!

A CERTAIN MAN, running forward.
Lord! I beseech thee, look upon my son.
He is mine only child; a lunatic,
And sorely vexed; for oftentimes he falleth
Into the fire and oft into the water.
Wherever the dumb spirit taketh him
He teareth him. He gnasheth with his teeth,
And pines away. I spake to thy disciples
That they should cast him out, and they could not.

O faithless generation and perverse!
How long shall I be with you, and suffer you?
Bring thy son hither.

How the unclean spirit
Seizes the boy, and tortures him with pain!
He falleth to the ground and wallows, foaming!
He cannot live.

How long is it ago
Since this came unto him?

Even of a child.
Oh, have compassion on us, Lord, and help us,
If thou canst help us.

If thou canst believe.
For unto him that verily believeth,
All things are possible.

Lord, I believe!
Help thou mine unbelief!

Dumb and deaf spirit,
Come out of him, I charge thee, and no more
Enter thou into him!

The boy utters a loud cry of pain, and then lies still.

How motionless
He lieth there. No life is left in him.
His eyes are like a blind man's, that see not.
The boy is dead!

Behold! the Master stoops,
And takes him by the hand, and lifts him up.
He is not dead.

But one word from those lips,
But one touch of that hand, and he is healed!
Ah, why could we not do it?

My poor child!
Now thou art mine again. The unclean spirit
Shall never more torment thee! Look at me!
Speak unto me! Say that thou knowest me!

Good Master, tell us, for what reason was it
We could not cast him out?

Because of your unbelief!



Two men went up into the temple to pray.
The one was a self-righteous Pharisee,
The other a Publican. And the Pharisee
Stood and prayed thus within himself: O God,
I thank thee I am not as other men,
Extortioners, unjust, adulterers,
Or even as this Publican. I fast
Twice in the week, and also I give tithes
Of all that I possess! The Publican,
Standing afar off, would not lift so much
Even as his eyes to heaven, but smote his breast,
Saying: God be merciful to me a sinner!
I tell you that this man went to his house
More justified than the other. Every one
That doth exalt himself shall be abased,
And he that humbleth himself shall be exalted!

CHILDREN, among themselves.
Let us go nearer! He is telling stories!
Let us go listen to them.

Children, children!
What are ye doing here? Why do ye crowd us?
It was such little vagabonds as you
That followed Elisha, mucking him and crying:
Go up, thou bald-head! But the bears--the bears
Came out of the wood, and tare them!

Speak not thus!
We brought them here, that He might lay his hands
On them, and bless them.

Suffer little children
To come unto me, and forbid them not;
Of such is the kingdom of heaven; and their angels
Look always on my Father's face.

Takes them in his arms and blesses them.

A YOUNG RULER, running.
Good Master!
What good thing shall I do, that I may have
Eternal life?

Why callest thou me good?
There is none good but one, and that is God.
If thou wilt enter into life eternal,
Keep the commandments.

Which of them?

Thou shalt not
Commit adultery; thou shalt not kill;
Thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not bear false witness;
Honor thy father and thy mother; and love
Thy neighbor as thyself.

From my youth up
All these things have I kept. What lack I yet?

With what divine compassion in his eyes
The Master looks upon this eager youth,
As if he loved him!

Wouldst thou perfect be,
Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor,
And come, take up thy cross, and follow me,
And thou shalt have thy treasure in the heavens.

Behold, how sorrowful he turns away!

Children! how hard it is for them that trust
In riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
'T is easier for a camel to go through
A needle's eye, than for the rich to enter
The kingdom of God!

Ah, who then can be saved?

With men this is indeed impossible,
But unto God all things are possible!

Behold, we have left all, and followed thee.
What shall we have therefor?

Eternal life.



MARTHA busy about household affairs. MARY sitting at the feet of

She sitteth idly at the Master's feet.
And troubles not herself with household cares.
'T is the old story. When a guest arrives
She gives up all to be with him; while I
Must be the drudge, make ready the guest-chamber,
Prepare the food, set everything in order,
And see that naught is wanting in the house.
She shows her love by words, and I by works.

O Master! when thou comest, it is always
A Sabbath in the house. I cannot work;
I must sit at thy feet; must see thee, hear thee!
I have a feeble, wayward, doubting heart,
Incapable of endurance or great thoughts,
Striving for something that it cannot reach,
Baffled and disappointed, wounded, hungry;
And only when I hear thee am I happy,
And only when I see thee am at peace!
Stronger than I, and wiser, and far better
In every manner, is my sister Martha.
Thou seest how well she orders everything
To make thee welcome; how she comes and goes,
Careful and cumbered ever with much serving,
While I but welcome thee with foolish words!
Whene'er thou speakest to me, I am happy;
When thou art silent, I am satisfied.
Thy presence is enough. I ask no more.
Only to be with thee, only to see thee,
Sufficeth me. My heart is then at rest.
I wonder I am worthy of so much.

Lord, dost thou care not that my sister Mary
Hath left me thus to wait on thee alone?
I pray thee, bid her help me.

Martha, Martha,
Careful and troubled about many things
Art thou, and yet one thing alone is needful!
Thy sister Mary hath chosen that good part,
Which never shall be taken away from her!



Who is this beggar blinking in the sun?
Is it not he who used to sit and beg
By the Gate Beautiful?

It is the same.

It is not he, but like him, for that beggar
Was blind from birth. It cannot be the same.

Yea, I am he.

How have thine eyes been opened?

A man that is called Jesus made a clay
And put it on mine eyes, and said to me:
Go to Siloam's Pool and wash thyself.
I went and washed, and I received my sight.

Where is he?

I know not.

What is this crowd
Gathered about a beggar? What has happened?

Here is a man who hath been blind from birth,
And now he sees. He says a man called Jesus
Hath healed him.

As God liveth, the Nazarene!
How was this done?

Rabboni, he put clay
Upon mine eyes; I washed, and now I see.

When did he this?

Rabboni, yesterday.

The Sabbath day. This man is not of God,
Because he keepeth not the Sabbath day!

How can a man that is a sinner do
Such miracles?

What dost thou say of him
That hath restored thy sight?

He is a Prophet.

This is a wonderful story, but not true,
A beggar's fiction. He was not born blind,
And never has been blind!

Here are his parents.
Ask them.

Is this your son?

Rabboni, yea;
We know this is our son.

Was he born blind?

He was born blind.

Then how doth he now see?

What answer shall we make? If we confess
It was the Christ, we shall be driven forth
Out of the Synagogue!
We know, Rabboni,
This is our son, and that he was born blind;
But by what means he seeth, we know not,
Or who his eyes hath opened, we know not.
He is of age; ask him; we cannot say;
He shall speak for himself.

Give God the praise!
We know the man that healed thee is a sinner!

Whether He be a sinner, I know not;
One thing I know; that whereas I was blind,
I now do see.

How opened he thine eyes?
What did he do?

I have already told you.
Ye did not hear: why would ye hear again?
Will ye be his disciples?

God of Moses!
Are we demoniacs, are we halt or blind,
Or palsy-stricken, or lepers, or the like,
That we should join the Synagogue of Satan,
And follow jugglers? Thou art his disciple,
But we are disciples of Moses; and we know
That God spake unto Moses; but this fellow,
We know not whence he is!

Why, herein is
A marvellous thing! Ye know not whence he is,
Yet he hath opened mine eyes! We know that God
Heareth not sinners; but if any man
Doeth God's will, and is his worshipper,
Him doth he hear. Oh, since the world began
It was not heard that any man hath opened
The eyes of one that was born blind. If He
Were not of God, surely he could do nothing!

Thou, who wast altogether born in sins
And in iniquities, dost thou teach us?
Away with thee out of the holy places,
Thou reprobate, thou beggar, thou blasphemer!

THE BEGGAR is cast out.



On the house-top at Endor. Night. A lighted lantern on a table.

Swift are the blessed Immortals to the mortal
That perseveres! So doth it stand recorded
In the divine Chaldaean Oracles
Of Zoroaster, once Ezekiel's slave,
Who in his native East betook himself
To lonely meditation, and the writing
On the dried skins of oxen the Twelve Books
Of the Avesta and the Oracles!
Therefore I persevere; and I have brought thee
From the great city of Tyre, where men deride
The things they comprehend not, to this plain
Of Esdraelon, in the Hebrew tongue
Called Armageddon, and this town of Endor,
Where men believe; where all the air is full
Of marvellous traditions, and the Enchantress
That summoned up the ghost of Samuel
Is still remembered. Thou hast seen the land;
Is it not fair to look on?

It is fair,
Yet not so fair as Tyre.

Is not Mount Tabor
As beautiful as Carmel by the Sea?

It is too silent and too solitary;
I miss the tumult of the street; the sounds
Of traffic, and the going to and fro
Of people in gay attire, with cloaks of purple,
And gold and silver jewelry!

Of Abriman, the spirit of the dark,
The Evil Spirit!

I regret the gossip
Of friends and neighbors at the open door
On summer nights.

An idle waste of time.

The singing and the dancing, the delight
Of music and of motion. Woe is me,
To give up all these pleasures, and to lead
The life we lead!

Thou canst not raise thyself
Up to the level of my higher thought,
And though possessing thee, I still remain
Apart from thee, and with thee, am alone
In my high dreams.

Happier was I in Tyre.
Oh, I remember how the gallant ships
Came sailing in, with ivory, gold, and silver,
And apes and peacocks; and the singing sailors,
And the gay captains with their silken dresses,
Smelling of aloes, myrrh, and cinnamon!

But the dishonor, Helen! Let the ships
Of Tarshish howl for that!

And what dishonor?
Remember Rahab, and how she became
The ancestress of the great Psalmist David;
And wherefore should not I, Helen of Tyre,
Attain like honor?

Thou art Helen of Tyre,
And hast been Helen of Troy, and hast been Rahab,
The Queen of Sheha, and Semiramis,
And Sara of seven husbands, and Jezebel,
And other women of the like allurements;
And now thou art Minerva, the first Aeon,
The Mother of Angels!

And the concubine
Of Simon the Magician! Is it honor
For one who has been all these noble dames,
To tramp about the dirty villages
And cities of Samaria with a juggler?
A charmer of serpents?

He who knows himself
Knows all things in himself. I have charmed thee,
Thou beautiful asp: yet am I no magician,
I am the Power of God, and the Beauty of God!
I am the Paraclete, the Comforter!

Illusions! Thou deceiver, self-deceived!
Thou dost usurp the titles of another;
Thou art not what thou sayest.

Am I not?
Then feel my power.

Would I had ne'er left Tyre!

He looks at her, and she sinks into a deep sleep.

Go, see it in thy dreams, fair unbeliever!
And leave me unto mine, if they be dreams,
That take such shapes before me, that I see them;
These effable and ineffable impressions
Of the mysterious world, that come to me
From the elements of Fire and Earth and Water,
And the all-nourishing Ether! It is written,
Look not on Nature, for her name is fatal!
Yet there are Principles, that make apparent
The images of unapparent things,
And the impression of vague characters
And visions most divine appear in ether.
So speak the Oracles; then wherefore fatal?
I take this orange-bough, with its five leaves,
Each equidistant on the upright stem;
And I project them on a plane below,
In the circumference of a circle drawn
About a centre where the stem is planted,
And each still equidistant from the other,
As if a thread of gossamer were drawn
Down from each leaf, and fastened with a pin.
Now if from these five points a line be traced
To each alternate point, we shall obtain
The Pentagram, or Solomon's Pentangle,
A charm against all witchcraft, and a sign,
Which on the banner of Antiochus
Drove back the fierce barbarians of the North,
Demons esteemed, and gave the Syrian King
The sacred name of Soter, or of Savior.
Thus Nature works mysteriously with man;
And from the Eternal One, as from a centre,
All things proceed, in fire, air, earth, and water,
And all are subject to one law, which, broken
Even in a single point, is broken in all;
Demons rush in, and chaos comes again.
By this will I compel the stubborn spirits,
That guard the treasures, hid in caverns deep
On Gerizim, by Uzzi the High-Priest,
The ark and holy vessels, to reveal
Their secret unto me, and to restore
These precious things to the Samaritans.
A mist is rising from the plain below me,
And as I look, the vapors shape themselves
Into strange figures, as if unawares
My lips had breathed the Tetragrammaton,
And from their graves, o'er all the battlefields
Of Armageddon, the long-buried captains
Had started, with their thousands, and ten thousands,
And rushed together to renew their wars,
Powerless, and weaponless, and without a sound!
Wake, Helen, from thy sleep! The air grows cold;
Let us go down.

HELEN, awaking.
Oh, would I were at home!

Thou sayest that I usurp another's titles.
In youth I saw the Wise Men of the East,
Magalath and Pangalath and Saracen,
Who followed the bright star, but home returned
For fear of Herod by another way.
O shining worlds above me! in what deep
Recesses of your realms of mystery
Lies hidden now that star? and where are they
That brought the gifts of frankincense and myrrh?

The Nazarene still liveth.

We have heard
His name in many towns, but have not seen Him.
He flits before us; tarries not; is gone
When we approach, like something unsubstantial,
Made of the air, and fading into air.
He is at Nazareth, He is at Nain,
Or at the Lovely Village on the Lake,
Or sailing on its waters.

So say those
Who do not wish to find Him.

Can this be
The King of Israel, whom the Wise Men worshipped?
Or does He fear to meet me? It would seem so.
We should soon learn which of us twain usurps
The titles of the other, as thou sayest.

They go down.




THE SYRO-PHOENICIAN WOMAN and her DAUGHTER on the house-top at

THE DAUGHTER, singing.
Blind Bartimeus at the gates
Of Jericho in darkness waits;
He hears the crowd;--he hears a breath
Say, It is Christ of Nazareth!
And calls, in tones of agony,
[Greek text]!

The thronging multitudes increase:
Blind Bartimeus, hold thy peace!
But still, above the noisy crowd,
The beggar's cry is shrill and loud;
Until they say, he calleth thee!
[Greek text]!

Then saith the Christ, as silent stands
The crowd, What wilt thou at my hands?
And he replies, Oh, give me light!
Rabbi, restore the blind man's sight!
And Jesus answers, [Greek text]!

Ye that have eyes, yet cannot see,
In darkness and in misery,
Recall those mighty voices three,
[Greek text]!
[Greek text]!
[Greek text]!

Thy faith hath saved thee! Ah, how true that is!
For I had faith; and when the Master came
Into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, fleeing
From those who sought to slay him, I went forth
And cried unto Him, saying: Have mercy on me,
O Lord, thou Son of David! for my daughter
Is grievously tormented with a devil.
But he passed on, and answered not a word.
And his disciples said, beseeching Him:
Send her away! She crieth after us!
And then the Master answered them and said:
I am not sent but unto the lost sheep
Of the House of Israel! Then I worshipped Him,
Saying: Lord help me! And He answered me,
It is not meet to take the children's bread
And cast it unto dogs! Truth, Lord, I said;
And yet the dogs may eat the crumbs which fall
From off their master's table; and he turned,
And answered me; and said to me: O woman,
Great is thy faith; then be it unto thee
Even as thou wilt. And from that very hour
Thou wast made whole, my darling! my delight!

There came upon my dark and troubled mind
A calm, as when the tumult of the City
Suddenly ceases, and I lie and hear
The silver trumpets of the Temple blowing
Their welcome to the Sabbath. Still I wonder,
That one who was so far away from me
And could not see me, by his thought alone
Had power to heal me. Oh that I could see Him!

Perhaps thou wilt; for I have brought thee here
To keep the holy Passover, and lay
Thine offering of thanksgiving on the altar.
Thou mayst both see and hear Him. Hark!

VOICES afar off.

A crowd comes pouring through the city gate!
O mother, look!

VOICES in the street.
Hosanna to the Son
Of David!

A great multitude of people
Fills all the street; and riding on an ass
Comes one of noble aspect, like a king!
The people spread their garments in the way,
And scatter branches of the palm-trees!

Is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!

Who is this?

Jesus of Nazareth!

Mother, it is he!

He hath called Lazarus of Bethany
Out of his grave, and raised him from the dead!
Hosanna in the highest!

Ye perceive
That nothing we prevail. Behold, the world
Is all gone after him!

What majesty,
What power is in that care-worn countenance!
What sweetness, what compassion! I no longer
Wonder that he hath healed me!

Peace in heaven,
And glory in the highest!

Rabbi! Rabbi!
Rebuke thy followers!

Should they hold their peace
The very stones beneath us would cry out!

All hath passed by me like a dream of wonder!
But I have seen Him, and have heard his voice,
And I am satisfied! I ask no more!



When Rabban Simeon--upon whom be peace!--
Taught in these Schools, he boasted that his pen
Had written no word that he could call his own,
But wholly and always had been consecrated
To the transcribing of the Law and Prophets.
He used to say, and never tired of saying,
The world itself was built upon the Law.
And ancient Hillel said, that whosoever
Gains a good name gains something for himself,
But he who gains a knowledge of the Law
Gains everlasting life. And they spake truly.
Great is the Written Law; but greater still
The Unwritten, the Traditions of the Elders,
The lovely words of Levites, spoken first
To Moses on the Mount, and handed down
From mouth to mouth, in one unbroken sound
And sequence of divine authority,
The voice of God resounding through the ages.

The Written Law is water; the Unwritten
Is precious wine; the Written Law is salt,
The Unwritten costly spice; the Written Law
Is but the body; the Unwritten, the soul
That quickens it and makes it breathe and live.
I can remember, many years ago,
A little bright-eyed school-boy, a mere stripling,
Son of a Galilean carpenter,
From Nazareth, I think, who came one day
And sat here in the Temple with the Scribes,
Hearing us speak, and asking many questions,
And we were all astonished at his quickness.
And when his mother came, and said: Behold
Thy father and I have sought thee, sorrowing;
He looked as one astonished, and made answer,
How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not
That I must be about my Father's business?
Often since then I see him here among us,
Or dream I see him, with his upraised face
Intent and eager, and I often wonder
Unto what manner of manhood he hath grown!
Perhaps a poor mechanic like his father,
Lost in his little Galilean village
And toiling at his craft, to die unknown
And he no more remembered among men.

CHRISTUS, in the outer court.
The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat;
All, therefore, whatsoever they command you,
Observe and do; but follow not their works
They say and do not. They bind heavy burdens
And very grievous to be borne, and lay them
Upon men's shoulders, but they move them not
With so much as a finger!

GAMALIEL, looking forth.
Who is this
Exhorting in the outer courts so loudly?

Their works they do for to he seen of men.
They make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge
The borders of their garments, and they love
The uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats
In Synagogues, and greetings in the markets,
And to be called of all men Rabbi, Rabbi!

It is that loud and turbulent Galilean,
That came here at the Feast of Dedication,
And stirred the people up to break the Law!

Woe unto you, ye Scribes and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom
Of heaven, and neither go ye in yourselves
Nor suffer them that are entering to go in!

How eagerly the people throng and listen,
As if his ribald words were words of wisdom!

Woe unto you, ye Scribes and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! for ye devour the houses
Of widows, and for pretence ye make long prayers;
Therefore shall ye receive the more damnation.

This brawler is no Jew,--he is a vile
Samaritan, and hath an unclean spirit!

Woe unto you, ye Scribes and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! ye compass sea and land
To make one proselyte, and when he is made
Ye make him twofold more the child of hell
Than you yourselves are!

O my father's father!
Hillel of blessed memory, hear and judge!

Woe unto you, ye Scribes and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint,
Of anise, and of cumin, and omit
The weightier matters of the law of God,
Judgment and faith and mercy; and all these
Ye ought to have done, nor leave undone the others!

O Rabban Simeon! how must thy bones
Stir in their grave to hear such blasphemies!

Woe unto you, ye Scribes, and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! for ye make clean and sweet
The outside of the cup and of the platter,
But they within are full of all excess!

Patience of God! canst thou endure so long?
Or art thou deaf, or gone upon a journey?

Woe unto you, ye Scribes and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! for ye are very like
To whited sepulchres, which indeed appear
Beautiful outwardly, but are within
Filled full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness!

Am I awake? Is this Jerusalem?
And are these Jews that throng and stare and listen?

Woe unto you, ye Scribes and Pharisees,
Ye hypocrites! because ye build the tombs
Of prophets, and adorn the sepulchres
Of righteous men, and say: if we had lived
When lived our fathers, we would not have been
Partakers with them in the blood of Prophets.
So ye be witnesses unto yourselves,
That ye are children of them that killed the Prophets!
Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
I send unto you Prophets and Wise Men,
And Scribes, and some ye crucify, and some
Scourge in your Synagogues, and persecute
From city to city; that on you may come
The righteous blood that hath been shed on earth,
From the blood of righteous Abel to the blood
Of Zacharias, son of Barachias,
Ye slew between the Temple and the altar!

Oh, had I here my subtle dialectician,
My little Saul of Tarsus, the tent-maker,
Whose wit is sharper than his needle's point,
He would delight to foil this noisy wrangler!

Jerusalem! Jerusalem! O thou
That killest the Prophets, and that stonest them
Which are sent unto thee, how often would I
Have gathered together thy children, as a hen
Gathereth her chickens underneath her wing,
And ye would not! Behold, your house is left
Unto you desolate!

This is a Prophet!
This is the Christ that was to come!

Ye fools!
Think ye, shall Christ come out of Galilee?



One of you shall betray me.

Is it I?
Lord, is it I?

One of the Twelve it is
That dippeth with me in this dish his hand;
He shall betray me. Lo, the Son of Man
Goeth indeed as it is written of Him;
But woe shall be unto that man by whom
He is betrayed! Good were it for that man
If he had ne'er been born!

Lord, is it I?

Ay, thou hast said. And that thou doest, do quickly.

JUDAS ISCARIOT, going out.
Ah, woe is me!

All ye shall be offended
Because of me this night; for it is written:
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd! Smite
The shepherd, saith the Lord of hosts, and scattered
Shall be the sheep!--But after I am risen
I go before you into Galilee.

O Master! though all men shall be offended
Because of thee, yet will not I be!

Behold how Satan hath desired to have you,
That he may sift you as one sifteth wheat!
Whither I go thou canst not follow me--
Not now; but thou shalt follow me hereafter.

Wherefore can I not follow thee? I am ready
To go with thee to prison and to death.

Verily I say unto thee, this night,
Ere the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice!

Though I should die, yet will I not deny thee.

When first I sent you forth without a purse,
Or scrip, or shoes, did ye lack anything?

Not anything.

But he that hath a purse,
Now let him take it, and likewise his scrip;
And he that hath no sword, let him go sell
His clothes and buy one. That which hath been written
Must be accomplished now: He hath poured out
His soul even unto death; he hath been numbered
With the transgressors, and himself hath borne
The sin of many, and made intercession
For the transgressors. And here have an end
The things concerning me.

Behold, O Lord,
Behold here are two swords!

It is enough.



My spirit is exceeding sorrowful
Even unto death! Tarry ye here and watch.

He goes apart.

Under this ancient olive-tree, that spreads
Its broad centennial branches like a tent,
Let us lie down and rest.

What are those torches,
That glimmer on Brook Kedron there below us?

It is some marriage feast; the joyful maidens
Go out to meet the bridegroom.

I am weary.
The struggles of this day have overcome me.

They sleep.

CHRISTUS, falling on his face.
Father! all things are possible to thee,--
Oh let this cup pass from me! Nevertheless
Not as I will, but as thou wilt, be done!

Returning to the Disciples.

What! could ye not watch with me for one hour?
Oh watch and pray, that ye may enter not
Into temptation. For the spirit indeed
Is willing, but the flesh is weak!

It is for sorrow that our eyes are heavy.--
I see again the glimmer of those torches
Among the olives; they are coming hither.

Outside the garden wall the path divides;
Surely they come not hither.

They sleep again.

CHRISTUS, as before.
O my Father!
If this cup may not pass away from me,
Except I drink of it, thy will be done.

Returning to the Disciples.

Sleep on; and take your rest!

Beloved Master,
Alas! we know not what to answer thee!
It is for sorrow that our eves are heavy.--
Behold, the torches now encompass us.

They do but go about the garden wall,
Seeking for some one, or for something lost.

They sleep again.

CHRISTUS, as before.
If this cup may not pass away from me,
Except I drink of it, thy will be done.

Returning to the Disciples.

It is enough! Behold, the Son of Man
Hath been betrayed into the hands of sinners!
The hour is come. Rise up, let us be going;
For he that shall betray me is at hand.

Ah me! See, from his forehead, in the torchlight,
Great drops of blood are falling to the ground!

What lights are these? What torches glare and glisten
Upon the swords and armor of these men?
And there among them Judas Iscariot!

He smites the servant of the High-Priest with his sword.

Put up thy sword into its sheath; for they
That take the sword shall perish with the sword.
The cup my Father hath given me to drink,
Shall I not drink it? Think'st thou that I cannot
Pray to my Father, and that he shall give me
More than twelve legions of angels presently!

JUDAS to CHRISTUS, kissing him.
Hail, Master! hail!

Friend, wherefore art thou come?
Whom seek ye?

Jesus of Nazareth.

I am he.
Are ye come hither as against a thief,
With swords and staves to take me? When I daily
Was with you in the Temple, ye stretched forth
No hands to take me! But this is your hour,
And this the power of darkness. If ye seek
Me only, let these others go their way.

The Disciples depart. CHRISTUS is bound and led away. A certain
young aman follows him, having a linen cloth cast about his
body. They lay hold of him, and the young man flees from them



What do we? Clearly something must we do,
For this man worketh many miracles.

I am informed that he is a mechanic;
A carpenter's son; a Galilean peasant,
Keeping disreputable company.

The people say that here in Bethany
He hath raised up a certain Lazarus,
Who had been dead three days.

There is no resurrection of the dead;
This Lazarus should be taken, and put to death
As an impostor. If this Galilean
Would be content to stay in Galilee,
And preach in country towns, I should not heed him.
But when he comes up to Jerusalem
Riding in triumph, as I am informed,
And drives the money-changers from the Temple,
That is another matter.

If we thus
Let him alone, all will believe on him,
And then the Romans come and take away
Our place and nation.

Ye know nothing at all.
Simon Ben Camith, my great predecessor,
On whom be peace! would have dealt presently
With such a demagogue. I shall no less.
The man must die. Do ye consider not
It is expedient that one man should die,
Not the whole nation perish? What is death?
It differeth from sleep but in duration.
We sleep and wake again; an hour or two
Later or earlier, and it matters not,
And if we never wake it matters not;
When we are in our graves we are at peace,
Nothing can wake us or disturb us more.
There is no resurrection.

O most faithful
Disciple of Hircanus Maccabaeus,
Will nothing but complete annihilation
Comfort and satisfy thee?

While ye are talking
And plotting, and contriving how to take him,
Fearing the people, and so doing naught,
I, who fear not the people, have been acting;
Have taken this Prophet, this young Nazarene,
Who by Beelzebub the Prince of devils
Casteth out devils, and doth raise the dead,
That might as well be dead, and left in peace.
Annas my father-in-law hath sent him hither.
I hear the guard. Behold your Galilean!

CHRISTUS is brought in bound.

SERVANT, in the vestibule.
Why art thou up so late, my pretty damsel?

Why art thou up so early, pretty man?
It is not cock-crow yet, and art thou stirring?

What brings thee here ?

What brings the rest of you?

Come here and warm thy hands.

Art thou not
One of this man's also disciples?

I am not.

Now surely thou art also one of them;
Thou art a Galilean, and thy speech
Betrayeth thee.

Woman, I know him not!

CAIAPHAS to CHRISTUS, in the Hall.
Who art thou? Tell us plainly of thyself
And of thy doctrines, and of thy disciples.

Lo, I have spoken openly to the world,
I have taught ever in the Synagogue,
And in the Temple, where the Jews resort
In secret have said nothing. Wherefore then
Askest thou me of this? Ask them that heard me
What I have said to them. Behold, they know
What I have said!

OFFICER, striking him,
What, fellow! answerest thou
The High-Priest so?

If I have spoken evil,
Bear witness of the evil; but if well,
Why smitest thou me?

Where are the witnesses?
Let them say what they know.

We heard him say:
I will destroy this Temple made with hands,
And will within three days build up another
Made without hands.

He is o'erwhelmed with shame
And cannot answer!

Dost thou answer nothing?
What is this thing they witness here against thee?

He holds his peace.

Tell us, art thou the Christ?
I do adjure thee by the living God,
Tell us, art thou indeed the Christ?

I am.
Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man
Sit on the right hand of the power of God,
And come in clouds of heaven!

CAIAPHAS, rending his clothes.
It is enough.
He hath spoken blasphemy! What further need
Have we of witnesses? Now ye have heard
His blasphemy. What think ye? Is he guilty?

Guilty of death!

KINSMAN OF MALCHUS to PETER in the vestibule.
Surely I know thy face,
Did I not see thee in the garden with him?

How couldst thou see me? I swear unto thee
I do not know this man of whom ye speak!

The cock crows.

Hark! the cock crows! That sorrowful, pale face
Seeks for me in the crowd, and looks at me,
As if He would remind me of those words:
Ere the cock crow thou shalt deny me thrice!

Goes out weeping. CHRISTUS is blindfolded and buffeted.

AN OFFICER, striking him with his palm.
Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, thou Prophet!
Who is it smote thee?

Lead him unto Pilate!



Wholly incomprehensible to me,
Vainglorious, obstinate, and given up
To unintelligible old traditions,
And proud, and self-conceited are these Jews!
Not long ago, I marched the legions
Down from Caesarea to their winter-quarters
Here in Jerusalem, with the effigies
Of Caesar on their ensigns, and a tumult
Arose among these Jews, because their Law
Forbids the making of all images!
They threw themselves upon the ground with wild
Expostulations, bared their necks, and cried
That they would sooner die than have their Law
Infringed in any manner; as if Numa
Were not as great as Moses, and the Laws
Of the Twelve Tables as their Pentateuch!

And then, again, when I desired to span
Their valley with an aqueduct, and bring
A rushing river in to wash the city
And its inhabitants,--they all rebelled
As if they had been herds of unwashed swine!
Thousands and thousands of them got together
And raised so great a clamor round my doors,
That, fearing violent outbreak, I desisted,
And left them to their wallowing in the mire.

And now here comes the reverend Sanhedrim
Of lawyers, priests, and Scribes and Pharisees,
Like old and toothless mastiffs, that can bark
But cannot bite, howling their accusations
Against a mild enthusiast, who hath preached
I know not what new doctrine, being King
Of some vague kingdom in the other world,
That hath no more to do with Rome and Caesar
Than I have with the patriarch Abraham!
Finding this man to be a Galilean
I sent him straight to Herod, and I hope
That is the last of it; but if it be not,
I still have power to pardon and release him,
As is the custom at the Passover,
And so accommodate the matter smoothly,
Seeming to yield to them, yet saving him,
A prudent and sagacious policy
For Roman Governors in the Provinces.

Incomprehensible, fanatic people!
Ye have a God, who seemeth like yourselves
Incomprehensible, dwelling apart,
Majestic, cloud-encompassed, clothed in darkness!
One whom ye fear, but love not; yet ye have
No Goddesses to soften your stern lives,
And make you tender unto human weakness,
While we of Rome have everywhere around us
Our amiable divinities, that haunt
The woodlands, and the waters, and frequent
Our households, with their sweet and gracious presence!
I will go in, and, while these Jews are wrangling,
Read my Ovidius on the Art of Love.



BARABBAS, to his fellow-prisoners
Barabbas is my name,
Barabbas, the Son of Shame,
Is the meaning, I suppose;
I'm no better than the best,
And whether worse than the rest
Of my fellow-men, who knows?

I was once, to say it in brief,
A highwayman, a robber-chief,
In the open light of day.
So much I am free to confess;
But all men, more or less,
Are robbers in their way.

From my cavern in the crags,
From my lair of leaves and flags,
I could see, like ants, below,
The camels with their load
Of merchandise, on the road
That leadeth to Jericho.

And I struck them unaware,
As an eagle from the air
Drops down upon bird or beast;
And I had my heart's desire
Of the merchants of Sidon and Tyre,
And Damascus and the East.

But it is not for that I fear;
It is not for that I am here
In these iron fetters bound;
Sedition! that is the word
That Pontius Pilate heard,
And he liketh not the sound.

What think ye, would he care
For a Jew slain here or there,
Or a plundered caravan?
But Caesar!--ah, that is a crime,
To the uttermost end of time
Shall not be forgiven to man.

Therefore was Herod wroth
With Matthias Margaloth,
And burned him for a show!
Therefore his wrath did smite
Judas the Gaulonite,
And his followers, as ye know.

For that cause and no more,
Am I here, as I said before;
For one unlucky night,
Jucundus, the captain of horse,
Was upon us with all his force,
And I was caught in the flight,

I might have fled with the rest,
But my dagger was in the breast
Of a Roman equerry,
As we rolled there in the street,
They bound me, hands and feet
And this is the end of me.

Who cares for death? Not I!
A thousand times I would die,
Rather than suffer wrong!
Already those women of mine
Are mixing the myrrh and the wine;
I shall not be with you long.



PILATE, on the tessellated pavement in front of his palace.
Ye have brought unto me this man, as one
Who doth pervert the people; and behold!
I have examined him, and found no fault
Touching the things whereof ye do accuse him.
No, nor yet Herod; for I sent you to him,
And nothing worthy of death he findeth in him.
Ye have a custom at the Passover;
That one condemned to death shall be released.
Whom will ye, then, that I release to you?
Jesus Barabbas, called the Son of Shame,
Or Jesus, Son of Joseph, called the Christ?

THE PEOPLE, shouting.
Not this man, but Barabbas!

What then will ye
That I should do with him that is called Christ?

Crucify him!

Why, what evil hath he done?
Lo, I have found no cause of death in him;
I will chastise him, and then let him go.

THE PEOPLE, more vehemently.
Crucify him! crucify him!

Thy wife sends
This message to thee,--Have thou naught to do
With that just man; for I this day in dreams
Have suffered many things because of him.

PILATE, aside.
The Gods speak to us in our dreams! I tremble
At what I have to do! O Claudia,
How shall I save him? Yet one effort more,
Or he must perish!

Washes his hands before them.

I am innocent
Of the blood of this just person; see ye to it!

Let his blood be on us and on our children!

VOICES, within the palace.
Put on thy royal robes; put on thy crown,
And take thy sceptre! Hail, thou King of the Jews!

I bring him forth to you, that ye may know
I find no fault in him. Behold the man!

CHRISTUS is led in with the purple robe and crown of thorns.

Crucify him! crucify him!

Take ye him;
I find no fault in him.

We have a Law,
And by our Law he ought to die; because
He made himself to be the Son of God.

PILATE, aside.
Ah! there are Sons of God, and demigods
More than ye know, ye ignorant High-Priests!

Whence art thou?

Crucify him! crucify him!

Dost thou not answer me? Dost thou not know
That I have power enough to crucify thee?
That I have also power to set thee free?

Thou couldst have no power at all against me
Except that it were given thee from above;
Therefore hath he that sent me unto thee
The greater sin.

If thou let this man go,
Thou art not Caesar's friend. For whosoever
Maketh himself a King, speaks against Caesar.

Ye Jews, behold your King!

Away with him!
Crucify him!

Shall I crucify your King?

We have no King but Caesar!

Take him, then,
Take him, ye cruel and bloodthirsty priests,
More merciless than the plebeian mob,
Who pity and spare the fainting gladiator
Blood-stained in Roman amphitheatres,--
Take him, and crucify him if ye will;
But if the immortal Gods do ever mingle
With the affairs of mortals, which I doubt not,
And hold the attribute of justice dear,
They will commission the Eumenides
To scatter you to the four winds of heaven,
Exacting tear for tear, and blood for blood.
Here, take ye this inscription, Priests, and nail it
Upon the cross, above your victim's head:
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.

Nay, we entreat! write not, the King of the Jews!
But that he said: I am the King of the Jews!

Enough. What I have written, I have written.



Lost! Lost! Forever lost! I have betrayed
The innocent blood! O God! if thou art love,
Why didst thou leave me naked to the tempter?
Why didst thou not commission thy swift lightning
To strike me dead? or why did I not perish
With those by Herod slain, the innocent children,
Who went with playthings in their little hands
Into the darkness of the other world,
As if to bed? Or wherefore was I born,
If thou in thy foreknowledge didst perceive
All that I am, and all that I must be?
I know I am not generous, am not gentle,
Like other men; but I have tried to be,
And I have failed. I thought by following him
I should grow like him; but the unclean spirit
That from my childhood up hath tortured me
Hath been too cunning and too strong for me,
Am I to blame for this? Am I to blame
Because I cannot love, and ne'er have known
The love of woman or the love of children?
It is a curse and a fatality,
A mark that hath been set upon my forehead,
That none shall slay me, for it were a mercy
That I were dead, or never had been born.

Too late! too late! I shall not see Him more
Among the living. That sweet, patient face
Will never more rebuke me, nor those lips
Repeat the words: One of you shall betray me!
It stung me into madness. How I loved,
Yet hated Him: But in the other world!
I will be there before Him, and will wait
Until he comes, and fall down on my knees
And kiss his feet, imploring pardon, pardon!

I heard Him say: All sins shall be forgiven,
Except the sin against the Holy Ghost.
That shall not be forgiven in this world,
Nor in the world to come. Is that my sin?
Have I offended so there is no hope
Here nor hereafter? That I soon shall know.
O God, have mercy! Christ have mercy on me!

Throws himself headlong from the cliff.



Three crosses in this noonday night uplifted,
Three human figures that in mortal pain
Gleam white against the supernatural darkness;
Two thieves, that writhe in torture, and between them
The Suffering Messiah, the Son of Joseph,
Ay, the Messiah Triumphant, Son of David!
A crown of thorns on that dishonored head!
Those hands that healed the sick now pierced with nails,
Those feet that wandered homeless through the world
Now crossed and bleeding, and at rest forever!
And the three faithful Maries, overwhelmed
By this great sorrow, kneeling, praying weeping!
O Joseph Caiaphas, thou great High-Priest
How wilt thou answer for this deed of blood?

Thou that destroyest the Temple, and dost build it
In three days, save thyself; and if thou be
The Son of God, come down now from the cross.

Others he saved, himself he cannot save!
Let Christ the King of Israel descend
That we may see and believe!

In God he trusted;
Let Him deliver him, if He will have him,
And we will then believe.

Father! forgive them;
They know not what they do.

If thou be Christ,
Oh save thyself and us!

Remember me,
Lord, when thou comest into thine own kingdom.

This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

Golgotha! Golgotha! Oh the pain and darkness!
Oh the uplifted cross, that shall forever
Shine through the darkness, and shall conquer pain
By the triumphant memory of this hour!

O Nazarene! I find thee here at last!
Thou art no more a phantom unto me!
This is the end of one who called himself
The Son of God! Such is the fate of those
Who preach new doctrines. 'T is not what he did,
But what he said, hath brought him unto this.
I will speak evil of no dignitaries.
This is my hour of triumph, Nazarene!

This is the end of him who said to me:
Sell that thou hast, and give unto the poor!
This is the treasure in heaven he promised me!

Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani!

A SOLDIER, preparing the hyssop.
He calleth for Elias!

Nay, let be!
See if Elias will now come to save him!

I thirst.

Give him the wormwood!

CHRISTUS, with a loud cry, bowing his head.
It is finished!



We have risen early, yet the sun
O'ertakes us ere we reach the sepulchre,
To wrap the body of our blessed Lord
With our sweet spices.

Lo, this is the garden,
And yonder is the sepulchre. But who
Shall roll away the stone for us to enter?

It hath been rolled away! The sepulchre
Is open! Ah, who hath been here before us,
When we rose early, wishing to be first?

I am affrighted!

Hush! I will stoop down
And look within. There is a young man sitting
On the right side, clothed in a long white garment!
It is an angel!

Fear not; ye are seeking
Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified.
Why do ye seek the living among the dead?
He is no longer here; He is arisen!
Come see the place where the Lord lay! Remember
How He spake unto you in Galilee,
Saying: The Son of Man must be delivered
Into the hands of sinful men; by them
Be crucified, and the third day rise again!
But go your way, and say to his disciples,
He goeth before you into Galilee;
There shall ye see Him as He said to you.

I will go swiftly for them.

MARY MAGDALENE, alone, weeping.
They have taken
My Lord away from me, and now I know not
Where they have laid Him! Who is there to tell me?
This is the gardener. Surely he must know.

Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou?

They have taken my Lord away; I cannot find Him.
O sir, if thou have borne Him hence, I pray thee
Tell me where thou hast laid Him.





NATHANIEL, in the ship.
All is now ended.

Nay, He is arisen,
I ran unto the tomb, and stooping down
Looked in, and saw the linen grave-clothes lying,
Yet dared not enter.

I went in, and saw
The napkin that had been about his head,
Not lying with the other linen clothes,
But wrapped together in a separate place.

And I have seen Him. I have seen the print
Of nails upon his hands, and thrust my hands
Into his side. I know He is arisen;
But where are now the kingdom and the glory
He promised unto us? We have all dreamed
That we were princes, and we wake to find
We are but fishermen.

Who should have been
Fishers of men!

We have come back again
To the old life, the peaceful life, among
The white towns of the Galilean lake.

They seem to me like silent sepulchres
In the gray light of morning! The old life,
Yea, the old life! for we have toiled all night
And have caught nothing.

Do ye see a man
Standing upon the beach and beckoning?
'T is like an apparition. He hath kindled
A fire of coals, and seems to wait for us.
He calleth.

CHRISTUS, from the shore.
Children, have ye any meat?

Alas! We have caught nothing.

Cast the net
On the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.

How that reminds me of the days gone by,
And one who said: Launch out into the deep,
And cast your nets!

We have but let them down
And they are filled, so that we cannot draw them!

It is the Lord!

PETER, girding his fisher's coat about him.
He said: When I am risen
I will go before you into Galilee!

He casts himself into the lake.

There is no fear in love; for perfect love
Casteth out fear. Now then, if ye are men,
Put forth your strength; we are not far from shore;
The net is heavy, but breaks not. All is safe.

PETER, on the shore.
Dear Lord! I heard thy voice and could not wait.
Let me behold thy face, and kiss thy feet!
Thou art not dead, thou livest! Again I see thee.
Pardon, dear Lord! I am a sinful man;
I have denied thee thrice. Have mercy on me!

THE OTHERS, coming to land.
Dear Lord! stay with us! cheer us! comfort us!
Lo! we again have found thee! Leave us not!

Bring hither of the fish that ye have caught,
And come and eat!

Behold! He breaketh bread
As He was wont. From his own blessed hands
Again we take it.

Simon, son of Jonas,
Lovest thou me, more than these others?

More, Lord, than all men, even more than these.
Thou knowest that I love thee.

Feed my lambs.

THOMAS, aside.
How more than we do? He remaineth ever
Self-confident and boastful as before.
Nothing will cure him.

Simon, son of Jonas,
Lovest thou me?

Yea, dearest Lord, I love thee.
Thou knowest that I love thee.

Feed my sheep.

THOMAS, aside.
Again, the selfsame question, and the answer
Repeated with more vehemence. Can the Master
Doubt if we love Him?

Simon, son of Jonas,
Lovest thou me?

PETER, grieved.
Dear Lord, thou knowest all things.
Thou knowest that I love thee.


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