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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Sodoma’s ‘Christ Scourged’
By George Edward Woodberry (1855–1930)
 
I SAW in Siena pictures,
  Wandering wearily;
I sought not the names of the masters
  Nor the works men care to see;
But once in a low-ceiled passage        5
  I came on a place of gloom,
Lit here and there with halos
  Like saints within the room.
The pure, serene, mild colors
  The early artists used        10
Had made my heart grow softer,
  And still on peace I mused.
Sudden I saw the Sufferer,
  And my frame was clenched with pain;
Perchance no throe so noble        15
  Visits my soul again.
Mine were the stripes of the scourging;
  On my thorn-pierced brow blood ran;
In my breast the deep compassion
  Breaking the heart for man.        20
I drooped with heavy eyelids,
  Till evil should have its will;
On my lips was silence gathered;
  My waiting soul stood still.
I gazed, nor knew I was gazing;        25
  I trembled, and woke to know
Him whom they worship in heaven
  Still walking on earth below.
Once have I borne his sorrows
  Beneath the flail of fate!        30
Once, in the woe of his passion,
  I felt the soul grow great!
I turned from my dead Leader!
  I passed the silent door;
The gray-walled street received me:        35
  On peace I mused no more.
 
 
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