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Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christus: A Mystery

I

THE ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM

THE SYRO-PHOENICIAN WOMAN and her DAUGHTER on the house-top at
Jerusalem.

THE DAUGHTER, singing.
Blind Bartimeus at the gates
Of Jericho in darkness waits;
He hears the crowd;--he hears a breath
Say, It is Christ of Nazareth!
And calls, in tones of agony,
[Greek text]!

The thronging multitudes increase:
Blind Bartimeus, hold thy peace!
But still, above the noisy crowd,
The beggar's cry is shrill and loud;
Until they say, he calleth thee!
[Greek text]!

Then saith the Christ, as silent stands
The crowd, What wilt thou at my hands?
And he replies, Oh, give me light!
Rabbi, restore the blind man's sight!
And Jesus answers, [Greek text]!

Ye that have eyes, yet cannot see,
In darkness and in misery,
Recall those mighty voices three,
[Greek text]!
[Greek text]!
[Greek text]!

THE MOTHER.
Thy faith hath saved thee!  Ah, how true that is!
For I had faith; and when the Master came
Into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, fleeing
From those who sought to slay him, I went forth
And cried unto Him, saying: Have mercy on me,
O Lord, thou Son of David! for my daughter
Is grievously tormented with a devil.
But he passed on, and answered not a word.
And his disciples said, beseeching Him:
Send her away!  She crieth after us!
And then the Master answered them and said:
I am not sent but unto the lost sheep
Of the House of Israel!  Then I worshipped Him,
Saying: Lord help me!  And He answered me,
It is not meet to take the children's bread
And cast it unto dogs!  Truth, Lord, I said;
And yet the dogs may eat the crumbs which fall
From off their master's table; and he turned,
And answered me; and said to me: O woman,
Great is thy faith; then be it unto thee
Even as thou wilt.  And from that very hour
Thou wast made whole, my darling! my delight!

THE DAUGHTER.
There came upon my dark and troubled mind
A calm, as when the tumult of the City
Suddenly ceases, and I lie and hear
The silver trumpets of the Temple blowing
Their welcome to the Sabbath.  Still I wonder,
That one who was so far away from me
And could not see me, by his thought alone
Had power to heal me.  Oh that I could see Him!

THE MOTHER.
Perhaps thou wilt; for I have brought thee here
To keep the holy Passover, and lay
Thine offering of thanksgiving on the altar.
Thou mayst both see and hear Him.  Hark!

VOICES afar off.
                 Hosanna!

THE DAUGHTER.
A crowd comes pouring through the city gate!
O mother, look!

VOICES in the street.
                      Hosanna to the Son
Of David!

THE DAUGHTER.
          A great multitude of people
Fills all the street; and riding on an ass
Comes one of noble aspect, like a king!
The people spread their garments in the way,
And scatter branches of the palm-trees!

VOICES.
                               Blessed
Is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest!

OTHER VOICES.
                        Who is this?

VOICES.
Jesus of Nazareth!

THE DAUGHTER.
                  Mother, it is he!

VOICES.
He hath called Lazarus of Bethany
Out of his grave, and raised him from the dead!
Hosanna in the highest!

PHARISEES.
                       Ye perceive
That nothing we prevail.  Behold, the world
Is all gone after him!

THE DAUGHTER.
                     What majesty,
What power is in that care-worn countenance!
What sweetness, what compassion!  I no longer
Wonder that he hath healed me!

VOICES.
                     Peace in heaven,
And glory in the highest!

PHARISEES.
                      Rabbi!  Rabbi!
Rebuke thy followers!

CHRISTUS.
         Should they hold their peace
The very stones beneath us would cry out!

THE DAUGHTER.
All hath passed by me like a dream of wonder!
But I have seen Him, and have heard his voice,
And I am satisfied!  I ask no more!