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The Christian Year

by Blessed John Keble 


Why doth my Saviour weep 
     At sight of Sion's bowers? 
Shows it not fair from yonder steep, 
     Her gorgeous crown of towers? 
Mark well His holy pains: 
     "Tis not in pride or scorn, 
That Israel's King with sorrow stains 
     His own triumphal morn. 

It is not that His son 
     Is wandering sadly on, 
In thought how soon at death's dark goal 
     Their course will all be run, 
Who now are shouting round 
     Hosanna to their chief; 
No thought like this in Him is found, 
     This were a Conqueror's grief. 

Or doth He feel the Cross 
     Already in His heart, 
The pain, the shame, the scorn, the loss? 
      Feel even His God depart? 
No: though He knew full well 
     The grief that then shall be-- 
The grief that angels cannot tell-- 
     Our God in agony. 

It is not thus He mourns; 
     Such might be martyr's tears, 
When his last lingering look he turns 
     On human hopes and fears; 
But hero ne'er or saint 
     The secret load might know, 
With which His spirit waxeth faint; 
     His is a Saviour's woe. 

"If thou hadst known, even thou, 
     "At least in this thy day, 
"The message of thy peace! but now 
     "'Tis pass'd for aye away: 
"Now foes shall trench thee round, 
     "And lay thee even with earth, 
"And dash thy children to the ground, 
     "Thy glory and thy mirth." 

And doth the Saviour weep 
     Over His people's sin, 
Because we will not let Him keep 
     The souls He died to win? 
Ye hearts, that love the Lord, 
     If at this sight ye burn, 
See that in thought, in deed, in word, 
     Ye hate what made Him mourn.