Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

13. Calvary

FRIENDLESS and faint, with martyred steps and slow,

Faint for the flesh, but for the spirit free,

Stung by the mob that came to see the show,

The Master toiled along to Calvary;

We gibed him, as he went, with houndish glee,

Till his dimned eyes for us did overflow;

We cursed his vengeless hands thrice wretchedly,—

And this was nineteen hundred years ago.

But after nineteen hundred years the shame

Still clings, and we have not made good the loss

That outraged faith has entered in his name.

Ah, when shall come love’s courage to be strong!

Tell me, O Lord—tell me, O Lord, how long

Are we to keep Christ writhing on the cross!