Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Ballad of Trees and the Master

by Sidney Lanier

Into the woods my Master went,
Clean forspent, forspent.
Into the woods my Master came,
Forspent with love and shame.
But the olives they were not blind to Him,
The little gray leaves were kind to Him:
The thorn-tree had a mind to Him
When into the woods He came.

Out of the woods my Master went,
And He was well content.
Out of the woods my Master came,
Content with death and shame.
When Death and Shame would woo Him last,
From under the trees they drew Him last:
'Twas on a tree they slew Him -- last
When out of the woods He came.

* * *

For those who couldn't get through "The Marshes of Glynn," here's a slightly easier introduction to Lanier. Once you've read this, maybe then you can go back and read Glynn. It's worth it, really.

This is a poem about the Agony in the Garden. Perhaps a little imaginative, but it is an interesting thought that Christ, in His humanity, may have been comforted by being among the trees the way we are.

This reminds me of a picture book from my childhood about the tree that became the Cross. The tree's name was Rex and he was very proud, but he learned to be humble through being made into a cross. I can't remember what the book was called.

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