• Bisley Benefice

Palm Sunday in poetry – 27th March

Welsh poet, Henry Vaughan (1622 – 1695), gives us a glimpse of a few hours of joy

Hark, how the children shrill and high ‘Hosanna’ cry.

Their joys provoke the distant sky where thrones and seraphim reply

And their own angels shine and sing in a bright ring.

Such young, sweet mirth makes heaven and earth join in a joyful symphony.

Marie J. Post (1919-1990) takes us through the same streets just a few days apart

Astride the colt and claimed as King that Sunday morning in the spring

He passed a thornbush flowering red that one would plait to crown his head.

He passed a vineyard where the wine was grown for men of royal line

And where the dregs were also brewed into a gall for Calvary’s road.

A purple robe was cast his way, then caught and kept until that day when, with its use, a trial would be profaned into a mockery.

His entourage was forced to wait to let timber through a gate

A shaft that all there might have known would be an altar and a throne.

The Dutch poet, Jacobus Revius (1586-1658), puts us at the centre of Good Friday’s events in this hard-hitting poem

No, it was not the Jews who crucified

Nor who betrayed you in judgment place

Nor who, Lord Jesus, spat in your face

Nor who with buffets struck you as you died.

No, it was not the soldiers fisted bold

Who lifted up the hammer and nail,

Or raised the cursed cross on Calvary’s hill

Or, gambling, tossed the dice to win your robe.

I am the one, O Lord, who brought you there

I am the heavy cross you had to bear

I am the rope that bound you to the tree

The whip, the nail, the hammer and the spear

The blood-stained crown of thorns you had to wear.

It was my sin, alas, it was for me.

Photo credits: Daily Mail / Getty

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