Poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Christus: A Mystery



My spirit is exceeding sorrowful
Even unto death!  Tarry ye here and watch.

He goes apart.

Under this ancient olive-tree, that spreads
Its broad centennial branches like a tent,
Let us lie down and rest.

                What are those torches,
That glimmer on Brook Kedron there below us?

It is some marriage feast; the joyful maidens
Go out to meet the bridegroom.

                         I am weary.
The struggles of this day have overcome me.

They sleep.

CHRISTUS, falling on his face.
Father! all things are possible to thee,--
Oh let this cup pass from me!  Nevertheless
Not as I will, but as thou wilt, be done!

Returning to the Disciples.

What! could ye not watch with me for one hour?
Oh watch and pray, that ye may enter not
Into temptation.  For the spirit indeed
Is willing, but the flesh is weak!

It is for sorrow that our eyes are heavy.--
I see again the glimmer of those torches
Among the olives; they are coming hither.

Outside the garden wall the path divides;
Surely they come not hither.

They sleep again.

CHRISTUS, as before.
                     O my Father!
If this cup may not pass away from me,
Except I drink of it, thy will be done.

Returning to the Disciples.

Sleep on; and take your rest!

                     Beloved Master,
Alas! we know not what to answer thee!
It is for sorrow that our eves are heavy.--
Behold, the torches now encompass us.

They do but go about the garden wall,
Seeking for some one, or for something lost.

They sleep again.

CHRISTUS, as before.
If this cup may not pass away from me,
Except I drink of it, thy will be done.

Returning to the Disciples.

It is enough!  Behold, the Son of Man
Hath been betrayed into the hands of sinners!
The hour is come.  Rise up, let us be going;
For he that shall betray me is at hand.

Ah me!  See, from his forehead, in the torchlight,
Great drops of blood are falling to the ground!

What lights are these?  What torches glare and glisten
Upon the swords and armor of these men?
And there among them Judas Iscariot!

He smites the servant of the High-Priest with his sword.

Put up thy sword into its sheath; for they
That take the sword shall perish with the sword.
The cup my Father hath given me to drink,
Shall I not drink it?  Think'st thou that I cannot
Pray to my Father, and that he shall give me
More than twelve legions of angels presently!

JUDAS to CHRISTUS, kissing him.
Hail, Master! hail!

     Friend, wherefore art thou come?
Whom seek ye?

              Jesus of Nazareth.

                         I am he.
Are ye come hither as against a thief,
With swords and staves to take me?  When I daily
Was with you in the Temple, ye stretched forth
No hands to take me!  But this is your hour,
And this the power of darkness.  If ye seek
Me only, let these others go their way.

The Disciples depart.  CHRISTUS is bound and led away.  A certain
young  aman follows him, having a linen cloth cast about his
body.  They lay hold of him, and the young man flees from them