Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
Christ Weeping over Jerusalem
John Keble (1792–1866)
“And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it”—LUKE XIX. 41.

WHY doth my Saviour weep
  At sight of Sion’s bowers?
Shows it not fair from yonder steep,
  Her gorgeous crown of towers
Mark well His holy pains:        5
  ’Tis not in pride or scorn
That Israel’s King with sorrow stains
  His own triumphal morn.
It is not that His soul
  Is wandering sadly on,        10
In thought how soon at death’s dark goal
  Their course will all be run,
Who now are shouting round
  Hosanna to their Chief;
No thought like this in Him is found,        15
  This were a Conqueror’s grief. 1
Or doth He feel the Cross
  Already in His heart,
The pain, the shame, the scorn, the loss?
  Feel even His God depart?        20
No: though he knew full well
  The grief that then shall be—
The grief that Angels cannot tell—
  Our God in agony.
It is not thus He mourns;        25
  Such might be martyr’s tears,
When His last lingering look He turns
  On human hopes and fears;
But hero ne’er or saint
  The secret load might know,        30
With which His spirit waxeth faint;
  His is a Saviour’s woe.
“If thou hadst known, even thou,
  At least in this thy day,
The message of thy peace! but now        35
  ’Tis passed for aye away:
“Now foes shall trench thee round,
  And lay thee even with earth,
And dash thy children to the ground,
  Thy glory and thy mirth.”        40
And doth the Saviour weep
  Over His people’s sin,
Because we will not let Him keep
  The souls He died to win?
Ye hearts that love the Lord,        45
  If at this sight ye burn,
See that in thought, in deed, in word,
  Ye hate what made Him mourn.
Note 1. Compare Herod., vii. 46. [back]

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