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

The Trial

George Alexander Chadwick (1840–1923)

THEY smote Messias on the face;

Even in their outraged judgment-place,

And all the furious concourse round

Rang with intense and passionate sound,

The scream of hate, the deadlier cry

Of craft and malice, “Crucify!”—

But vast and tranquil now the crowd

Whose anthems and whose harps are loud,

Stainless and numberless the throng

Which rings Thee round with rapturous song,

And earth shall see her Lord again,

Confessed of Angels and of men.

They rent from off Him, as He stood,

The purple, darkened with his blood;

Upon His brows the thorny crown

With blows their cruel hands beat down

(O Saviour, O my King, Thy soul

Felt all the billows o’er Thee roll),—

But who hath woven Thy raiment now?

What splendour burns about Thy brow?

Since e’en the saints who stand around

Are linen-robed and jewel-crowned.

A reed into His pinioned hand

Was thrust by that blaspheming band:

They laughed aloud at Israel’s King

Thus sceptred and thus triumphing.—

But no man, in these latter days,

Finds laughter in His gentle ways:

He neither strives nor cries; He goes

In silence amid clamouring foes;

Yet realms and ages rise and sing

Christ the supreme, the world-wide King.

The reed is in Thy hands, O God,

Victorious o’er the iron rod.

No longer friendless and forlorn,

Blasphemed, forsaken, and forsworn,

Betrayed, entrapped, and hunted down,—

But crowned with many an awful crown,

The crowns of Truth, and Life, and Love,

And hell beneath and heaven above;

And oft-times, when a saint holds breath

For terror in the Vale of Death,

He finds Thy footsteps printed there,

And learns to languish and to dare,

And holds Thy passion more divine

Than praising harps or gems that shine,

And crowns (but not as one who scorns)

His Captain with a crown of thorns.