Palm Sunday by Christina Rossetti
I LIFT mine eyes, and see
Thee, tender Lord, in pain upon the tree,
Athirst for my sake and athirst for me.
'Yea, look upon Me there,
Compassed with thorns and bleeding everywhere,
For thy sake bearing all, and glad to bear.’
I lift my heart to pray:
Thou Who didst love me all that darkened day,
Wilt Thou not love me to the end alway?
'Yea, thee My wandering sheep,
Yea, thee My scarlet sinner slow to weep,
Come to Me, I will love thee and will keep.’
Yet am I racked with fear:
Behold the unending outer darkness drear,
Behold the gulf unbridgeable and near!
'Nay, fix thy heart, thine eyes,
Thy hope upon My boundless sacrifice:
Will I lose lightly one so dearbought prize?’
Ah Lord, it is not Thou,
Thou that wilt fail; yet woe is me, for how
Shall I endure who half am failing now?
'Nay, weld thy resolute will
To Mine: glance not aside for good or ill:
I love thee; trust Me still and love Me still.’
Yet Thou Thyself hast said,
When Thou shalt sift the living from the dead
Some must depart shamed and uncomforted.
'Judge not before that day:
Trust Me with all thy heart, even tho’ I slay:
Trust Me in love, trust on, love on, and pray.’
Detail of photograph by W. Eugene Smith (b.1918)