LenTree For George Herbert

Day 32: Saturday


They bow their knees to me, and cry, Hail king:

What ever scoffs & scornfulness can bring,

I am the floor, the sink, where they it fling:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


Yet since man's scepters are as frail as reeds,

And thorny all their crowns, blood their weeds;

I, who am Truth, turn into truth their deeds:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


The soldiers also spit upon that face,

Which Angels did desire to have the grace,

And Prophets, once to see, but found no place:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


Thus trimmed, forth they bring me to the rout,

Who Crucify him, cry with one strong shout.

God holds his peace at man, and man cries out:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


They lead me in once more, and putting then

Mine own clothes on, they lead me out again.

Whom devils fly, thus is he tossed of men:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


And now weary of sport, glad to engross

All spite in one, counting my life their loss,

They carry me to my most bitter cross:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


O all you who pass by, behold and see;

Man stole the fruit, but I must climb the tree;

The tree of life to all, but only me:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


Lo, here I hang, charged with a world of sin,

The great world o' th' two; for that came in

By words, but this by sorrow I must win:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


Such sorrow as, if sinful man could feel,

Or feel his part, he would not cease to kneel.

Till all were melted, though he were all steel:

                              Was ever grief like mine?


But, O my God, my God! why leav'st thou me,

The son, in whom you do delight to be?

My God, my God ------

                              Never was grief like mine.


1633 Edition Complete   The Sacrifice Study Tenebræ Version   The Sacrifice: a Cantata


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