A friend from Belgium, Father Harry Gielen, has been collecting poems on the Passion of Jesus for years. He sent a selection of them to me recently and I hope to offer one each Friday.
I wonder why that scene comes back tonight,
That long-forgotten scene of years ago.
Perhaps this touch of spring, that full white moon,
For it was spring, and spring’s white moon hung low
Above my garden on the night He died.
I still remember how I felt disturbed
That I must send Him to a felon’s cross
On such a day when spring was in the air,
And in His life, for He was young to die.
How tall and strong He stood, how calm His eyes,
Fronting me straight and while I questioned Him;
His fearless heart spoke to me through His eyes.
Could I have won Him as my follower,
And a hundred more beside, my way had led
To Caesar’s palace and I’d wear today
The imperial purple. But He would not move
One little bit from His wild madcap dream
Of seeking truth. What wants a man with “truth”
When he is young and spring is at the door?
He would not listen, so He had to go.
One mad Jew less meant little to the state,
And pleasing Annas made my task the less.
And yet for me He spoiled that silver night,-
Remembering it was spring and he was young
William E. BROOKS, in: Chapter into Verse, Oxford University Press, 2000