Verse > Anthologies > W. Garrett Horder, ed. > The Poets’ Bible: New Testament
W. Garrett Horder, comp.  The Poets’ Bible: New Testament.  1895.
The Passover in the Holy Family
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882)
(For a Drawing) 1

HERE meet together the prefiguring day
  And day prefigured. ‘Eating, thou shalt stand,
  Feet shod, loins girt, thy road-staff in thine hand,
With blood-stained door and lintel,’—did God say
By Moses’ mouth in ages passed away.        5
  And now where this poor household doth comprise
  At Paschal feast two kindred families,—
Lo! the slain lamb confronts the Lamb to slay.
The pyre is piled. What agony’s crown attained,
  What shadow of death the Boy’s fair brow subdues        10
Who holds that blood wherewith the porch is stain’d,
  By Zachary the priest? John binds the shoes
  He deemed himself not worthy to unloose;
And Mary culls the bitter herbs ordained.
Note 1. The scene is in the house-porch, where Christ holds a bowl of blood, from which Zacharias is sprinkling the post and lintel. Joseph has brought the lamb, and Elizabeth lights the pyre. The shoes which John fastens and the bitter herbs which Mary is gathering form part of the ritual. [back]

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