Easter Even


by Christina Rossetti
There is nothing more that they can do
  For all their rage and boast;
Caiaphas with his blaspheming crew,
  Herod with his host,
Pontius Pilate in his Judgement-hall
  Judging their Judge and his,
Or he who led them all and passed them all,
  Arch-Judas with his kiss.
The sepulchre made sure with ponderous Stone,
  Seal that same stone, O Priest;
It may be thou shalt block the holy One
  From rising in the east:
Set a watch about the sepulchre
  To watch on pain of death;
They must hold fast the stone if One should stir
  And shake it from beneath.
God Almighty, He can break a seal
  And roll away a Stone,
Can grind the proud in dust who would not kneel,
  And crush the mighty one.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *
There is nothing more that they can do
  For all their passionate care,
Those who sit in dust, the blessed few,
  And weep and rend their hair:
Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalene,
  The Virgin unreproved,
Joseph, with Nicodemus, foremost men,
  And John the Well-beloved,
Bring your finest linen and your spice,
  Swathe the sacred Dead,
Bind with careful hands and piteous eyes
  The napkin round His head;
Lay Him in the garden-rock to rest;
  Rest you the Sabbath length:
The Sun that went down crimson in the west
  Shall rise renewed in strength.
God Almighty shall give joy for pain,
  Shall comfort him who grieves:
Lo! He with joy shall doubtless come again,
  And with Him bring His sheaves.