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W. Garrett Horder, comp. The Poets’ Bible: New Testament. 1895.

Christ Betrayed

Anne C. Lynch Botta (1815–1891)

EIGHTEEN hundred years agone

Was that deed of darkness done,

Was that sacred thorn-crowned head

To a shameful death betrayed,

And Iscariot’s traitor name

Blazoned in eternal shame.

Thou, disciple of our time,

Follower of the faith sublime,

Who with high and holy scorn

Of that traitorous deed dost burn,

Though the years may nevermore

To our earth that form restore,

The Christ-spirit ever lives,

Ever in thy heart he strives.

When pale misery mutely calls,

When thy brother tempted falls.

When thy gentle words may chain

Hate and anger and disdain,

Or thy loving smile impart

Courage to some sinking heart:

When within thy troubled breast

Good and evil thoughts contest,

Though unconscious thou mayst be,

The Christ-spirit strives with thee.

When he trod the Holy Land

With his small disciple band,

And the fated hour had come

For that august martyrdom,

When the man, the human love,

And the God within him strove,

As in Gethsemane he wept,

They, the faithless watchers, slept:

While for them he wept and prayed,

One denied and one betrayed!

If to-day thou turn’st aside,

In thy luxury and pride,

Wrapped within thyself, and blind

To the sorrows of thy kind,

Thou a faithless watch dost keep,

Thou art one of those who sleep:

Or, if waking, thou dost see

Nothing of divinity

In our fallen struggling race,

If in them thou see’st no trace

Of a glory dimmed, not gone,

Of a future to be won,

Of a future, hopeful, high,

Thou, like Peter, dost deny:

But, if seeing, thou believest,

If the Evangel thou receivest,

Yet, if thou art bound to sin,

False to the ideal within,

Slave of ease, or slave of gold,

Thou the Son of God hast sold.