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

Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet

George Washington Bethune (1805–1862)

O BLESSED Jesus! when I see Thee bending,

Girt as a servant, at Thy servants’ feet,

Love, lowliness, and might, in zeal all blending,

To wash their dust away, and make them meet

To share Thy feast. I know not to adore,

Whether thy humbleness or glory more.

Conscious Thou art of that dread hour impending,

When Thou must hang in anguish on the tree;

Yet, as from the beginning to the ending

Of Thy sad life, Thine own are dear to Thee,—

And Thou wilt prove to them, ere Thou dost part

The untold love which fills Thy faithful heart.

The day, too, is at hand, when far ascending,

Thy human brow the crown of God shall wear,

Ten thousand saints and radiant ones attending,

To do Thy will and bow in homage there;

But Thou dost pledge, to guard Thy church from ill,

Or bless with good, Thyself a servant still.

Meek Jesus! to my soul, Thy spirit lending,

Teach me to live, like Thee, in lowly love;

With humblest service all Thy saints befriending,

Until I serve before Thy throne above—

Yes! serving e’en my foes, for Thou didst seek

The feet of Judas in Thy service meek.

Daily my pilgrim feet, as homeward wending

My weary way, are sadly stained with sin;

Daily do Thou, Thy precious grace expending,

Wash me all clean without and clean within,

And make me fit to have a part with Thee

And Thine, at last, in Heaven’s festivity.

O blessed name of Servant! comprehending

Man’s highest honour in his humblest name;

For Thou, God’s Christ, that office recommending,

The throne of mighty power didst truly claim;

He who would rise like Thee, like Thee must owe

His glory only to His stooping low.