Saturday, February 12, 2011

Before a Crucifix

His eyes are open, and they fix
On me, the faithless one.
So stern the pity in his gaze,
It blinds me like the sun.

Such pain it cost those lids to lift
That none can know pain more:
Eyes that can hearts of sinners sift
Like sand upon the shore.

Standing in blind confusion meet,
I hear the voice that moans:
"They have pierced my hands and my feet;
They have numbered all my bones."

Numbered his bones indeed:
I can count each one where I stand.
Each rib laid bare; each severed strip
Of flesh a bleeding band.

I have seen Love: its countenance
Is torn; its side is burst.
Its head is bent; its lips are parched
To moan again, "I thirst."

I see him; who to doubt,
Though black despair cry "Death", am I?
His is the final victory,
And in him all death must die.


  1. Is this beautiful poem by any chance inspired by the prayer also known as "Before a Crucifix?"