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

The Betrayal

Matthew Bridges (1800–1894)

COLD is the wind, the scene is drear,

No ray of comfort can appear

For Him who comforts all:

Angels reluctant fold their plumes

As the great Foe his post assumes

Upon the field to fall.

Yet some brief triumph is at hand,

Such as the Serpent may command

To bruise Emmanuel’s Heel;

And through the centre of His Heart

Send, dipt in poison, many a dart,

He bitterly must feel.

For, lo! o’er Cedron’s shallow stream,

See how those lurid torches gleam

In fitful streaks of light:

Weapons of war are glittering there,

The sword that knows not how to spare

Either by day or night.

And one before the rest advances

Just as a Demon, when he glances

Upon some spotless prey:

And clothes himself in gentle form,

Lest, prescient of the coming storm,

The prize should pass away.

O meek Redeemer, dost Thou move

To meet the Traitor, and reprove

That execrable kiss?

Yielding Thyself for sinful man,

Whose life on earth is but a span—

Was ever Love like this?

Alas! for me the guilt is mine

Whene’er against Thy will benign

My treacherous heart hath stood:

Mine are the lips that have betrayed,

Mine is the debt which must be paid

With Groans, and Tears, and Blood.