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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Syria: Calvary, the Mount

Mount Calvary

By Frederick Henry Hedge (1805–1890)

’T WAS the day when God’s Anointed

Died for us the death appointed,

Bleeding on the guilty cross.

Day of darkness! day of terror!

Deadly fruit of ancient error,

Nature’s fall and Eden’s loss.

Haste! prepare the bitter chalice!

Mortal hate and mortal malice

Lift the royal victim high!

Like the serpent wonder-gifted,

Which the prophet once uplifted,

For a sinful world to die.

Cruel hands with thorns have crowned him,

Cruel tongues are raving round him,

Jew and Gentile fiercely lower.

Friends are false and foes are many:

“Eli, lama sabachthani,

Father, save me from this hour.”

Conscious of the deed unholy,

Nature’s pulses beat more slowly,

And the sun his face doth hide.

Darkness wrapped the sacred city,

And the earth with fear and pity

Trembled when the Just One died.

“It is finished!” Man of sorrows!

From thy cross our frailty borrows

Strength to bear and conquer thus.

While, extended there, we view thee,

Mighty sufferer! draw us to thee,

Sufferer victorious!

Not in vain for us uplifted,

Man of sorrows wonder-gifted,

May that sacred symbol be;

High and hoar amid the ages,

Guide of heroes and of sages,

May it guide us still to thee!

Still to thee, whose love unbounded

Sorrow’s depth for us hath sounded,

Perfected by conflicts sore.

Honored be thy cross forever!

Star that points our high endeavor

Whither thou hast gone before!