Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
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W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
 
Christ Betrayed
Anne C. Lynch Botta (1815–1891)
 
EIGHTEEN hundred years agone
Was that deed of darkness done,
Was that sacred thorn-crowned head
To a shameful death betrayed,
And Iscariot’s traitor name        5
Blazoned in eternal shame.
Thou, disciple of our time,
Follower of the faith sublime,
Who with high and holy scorn
Of that traitorous deed dost burn,        10
Though the years may nevermore
To our earth that form restore,
The Christ-spirit ever lives,
Ever in thy heart he strives.
When pale misery mutely calls,        15
When thy brother tempted falls.
When thy gentle words may chain
Hate and anger and disdain,
Or thy loving smile impart
Courage to some sinking heart:        20
When within thy troubled breast
Good and evil thoughts contest,
Though unconscious thou mayst be,
The Christ-spirit strives with thee.
 
  When he trod the Holy Land        25
With his small disciple band,
And the fated hour had come
For that august martyrdom,
When the man, the human love,
And the God within him strove,        30
As in Gethsemane he wept,
They, the faithless watchers, slept:
While for them he wept and prayed,
One denied and one betrayed!
 
  If to-day thou turn’st aside,        35
In thy luxury and pride,
Wrapped within thyself, and blind
To the sorrows of thy kind,
Thou a faithless watch dost keep,
Thou art one of those who sleep:        40
Or, if waking, thou dost see
Nothing of divinity
In our fallen struggling race,
If in them thou see’st no trace
Of a glory dimmed, not gone,        45
Of a future to be won,
Of a future, hopeful, high,
Thou, like Peter, dost deny:
But, if seeing, thou believest,
If the Evangel thou receivest,        50
Yet, if thou art bound to sin,
False to the ideal within,
Slave of ease, or slave of gold,
Thou the Son of God hast sold.
 
 
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