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I Know You Not

1864

by Christina Rossetti
O Christ, the Vine with living Fruit,
The twelvefold-fruited Tree of Life,
The Balm in Gilead after strife,
The valley Lily and the Rose;
Stronger than Lebanon, Thou Root;
Sweeter than clustered grapes, Thou Vine;
O Best, Thou Vineyard of red wine,
Keeping thy best wine till the close.
Pearl of great price Thyself alone,
And ruddier than the ruby Thou;
Most precious lightning Jasper stone,
Head of the corner spurned before:
Fair Gate of pearl, Thyself the Door;
Clear golden Street, Thyself the Way;
By Thee we journey toward Thee now,
Through Thee shall enter Heaven one day.
I thirst for Thee, full fount and flood;
My heart calls Thine, as deep to deep:
Dost Thou forget Thy sweat and pain,
They provocation on the Cross?
Heart-pierced for me, vouchsafe to keep
The purchase of Thy lavished Blood:
The gain is Thine, Lord, if I gain;
Or if I lose, Thine own the loss.
At midnight (saith the Parable)
A cry was made, the Bridegroom came;
Those who were ready entered in:
The rest, shut out in death and shame,
Strove all too late that Feast to win,
Their die was cast, and fixed their lot;
A gulf divided Heaven from Hell;
The Bridegroom said—I know you not.
But Who is this that shuts the door,
And saith—I know you not—to them?
I see the wounded hands and side,
The brow thorn-tortured long ago:
Yea; This Who grieved and bled and died,
This same is He Who must condemn;
He called, but they refused to know;
So now He hears their cry no more.

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