Christina Rossetti: Easter Even

Easter Even

1864

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.