died for all menís sins, so why do I die too?
is it not for sins I die? Is it that you
some more ignoble travesty or trick?
bating bears or training dogs to fight seem sick?
angels wager on my grimaces and cheer
I begin to flag or witless fill with fear?
marvels of logic you do make. But say this:
it I whose weakness bartered the traitorís kiss?
did I, feckless, hide away when you were scourged
stand and jeer you at your death when I was urged?
one death not enough that you will ask for mine?
Your death exceeded by this doleful sign:
bloody blocks of wood, the standing lonely cross.
turned despair and longing into hope; you spanned
chasms in our virtue with a bridge and unmanned
sins, incinerating with them all my guilt,
the awful totems I had built?
whence the great conundrum of my living pain
ransoms in your blood remove my sinful stain?
the blessing in the often threshing hand
not the punishment I try to understand.
the truly wildest thought I can conceive
that you let me feel your mortal pain and leave
senses to the miseries you did endure,
in the garden even God was so unsure.
in the traitorís kiss I do betray my sin
castigate my scourging and I will begin
see that all the loud protesting that I do
drowning in the mercies that have come from you.
you allow participation in your grief
lesson will endure, while yet the pain is brief.