THE BLACK CHRIST
by: Arthur Shearly Cripps
(At Easter in South Africa)
- ILATE and
- They have brought this thing to pass--
- That a Christ the Father gave,
- Should be guest within a grave.
- Church and State have willed to last
- This tyranny not over-past;
- His dark southern Brows around
- They a wreath of briars have bound,
- In His dark despiséd Hands
- Writ in sores their writing stands.
- By strait starlit ways I creep,
- Caring while the careless sleep,
- Bearing balms, and flowrs to crown
- That poor Head the stone holds down,
- Through some crack or crevice dim
- I would reach my sweets to Him.
- Easter suns they rise and set,
- But that stone is steadfast yet:
- Past my lifting tis but I
- When tis lifted would be nigh.
- I believe, whateer they say,
- The sun shall dance an Easter Day,
- And I that through thick twilight grope
- With balms of faith, and flowrs of hope,
- Shall lift mine eyes and see that stone
- Stir and shake, if not be gone.
MORE POEMS BY ARTHUR SHEARLY CRIPPS
"The Black Christ" is
reprinted from The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse.
Ed. Nicholson & Lee. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1917.