Good Friday Night by Margaret Louisa Woods

I have tried but have found no copyright information for this poem: if I am breach of copyright please let me know as soon as possible and I will of course remove the text. Otherwise: enjoy!

Now lies the Lord in a most quiet bed.
Stillness profound
steeps like a balm the wounded body wholly,
more still than the hushed night brooding around.
The moon is overhead,
sparkling and small, and somewhere a faint sound
of water, dropping, in a cistern, slowly.
Now lies the Lord in a most quiet bed.

Now rests the Lord in perfect loneliness.
One little grated window has his tomb,
a patch of gloom
impenetrable, where the moonbeams whiten
and arabesque its wall
with leafy shadows, light as a caress.
The palms that brood above the garden brighten,
but in that quiet room
darkness prevails; deep darkness fills it all.
Now rests the Lord in perfect loneliness.

Now sleeps the Lord secure from human sorrow.
The sorrowing women sometimes fall asleep
wrapped in their hair,
which, while they slumber, yet warm tears will steep,
because their hearts mourn in them ceaselessly.
Uprising, half-aware,
they myrrh and spices and rich balms, put by
for their own burials, gather hastily,
dreaming it is that morrow
when they the precious body may prepare.
Now sleeps the Lord secure from human sorrow.

Now sleeps the Lord unhurt by love’s betrayal.
Peter sleeps not.
He lies yet on his face and has not stirred
since the iron entered in his soul red-hot.
The disciples, trembling, mourn their disillusion
that he whose word
could raise the dead; on whom God had conferred power,
as they trusted, to redeem Israel,
had been that bitter day put to confusion,
crucified and interred.
Now sleeps the Lord unhurt by love’s betrayal.

Now rests the Lord, crowned with ineffable peace.
Have they not peace tonight who feared him, hated
and hounded to his doom,
the red thirst of their vengeance sated?
No, they still run about and bite the beard,
confer, nor cease
to tease the contemptuous Pilate, are affeared
still of Him tortured, crushed, humiliated
cold in a blood-stained tomb.
Now rests the Lord, crowned with ineffable peace.

Now lies the Lord, serene, august, apart,
that mortal life his mother gave him ended.
No word save one
or Mary more, but gently as a cloud
on her perdurable silence has descended.
Hush! In her heart
which first felt the faint life stir in her Son
perchance is apprehended
even now new mystery; grief less loud clamours,
the Resurrection has begun.
Now lies the Lord, serene, august, apart.

Margaret Louisa Woods (1856-1929)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s