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The Three Enemies

by Christina Rossetti

The Flesh

'Sweet, thou art pale.'
                        'More pale to see,
Christ hung upon the cruel tree
And bore His Father's wrath for me.'
'Sweet, thou art sad.'
                       'Beneath a rod
More heavy, Christ for my sake trod
The winepress of the wrath of God.'
'Sweet, thou art weary.'
                         'Not so Christ:
Whose mighty love of me sufficed
For Strength, Salvation, Eucharist.'
'Sweet, thou art footsore.'
                            'If I bleed,
His feet have bled; yea in my need
His Heart once bled for mine indeed.'
THE WORLD
'Sweet, thou art young.'
                         'So He was young
Who for my sake in silence hung
Upon the Cross with Passion wrung.'
'Look, thou art fair.'
                       'He was more fair
Than men, Who deigned for me to wear
A visage marred beyond compare.'
'And thou hast riches.'
                        'Daily bread:
All else is His: Who, living, dead,
For me lacked where to lay His Head.'
'And life is sweet.'
                     'It was not so
To Him, Whose Cup did overflow
With mine unutterable woe.'
THE DEVIL
'Thou drinkest deep.'
                      'When Christ would sup
He drained the dregs from out my cup:
So how should I be lifted up?'
'Thou shalt win Glory.'
                        'In the skies,
Lord Jesus, cover up mine eyes
Lest they should look on vanities.'
'Thou shalt have Knowledge.'
                             'Helpless dust!
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust:
Answer Thou for me, Wise and Just.'
'And Might.'—
                'Get thee behind me. Lord,
Who hast redeemed and not abhorred
My soul, oh keep it by Thy Word.'

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