The Sacrifice

Oh all ye, who pass by, whose eyes and mind
To worldly things are sharp, but to me blind;
To me, who took eyes that I might you find:
  Was ever grief like mine?

The Princes of my people make a head
Against their Maker: they do wish me dead,
Who cannot wish, except I give them bread:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Without me each one, who doth now me brave,
Had to this day been an Egyptian slave.
They use that power against me, which I gave:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Mine own Apostle, who the bag did bear,
Though he had all I had, did not forebear
To sell me also, and to put me there:
  Was ever grief like mine?

For thirty pence he did my death devise,
Who at three hundred did the ointment prize,
Not half so sweet as my sweet sacrifice:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Therefore my soul melts, and my heart's dear treasure
Drops blood (the only beads) my words to measure:
O let this cup pass, if it be thy pleasure:
  Was ever grief like mine?

These drops being temper'd with a sinner's tears,
A Balsam are for both the Hemispheres:
Curing all wounds but mine; all, but my fears,
  Was ever grief like mine?

Yet my Disciples sleep: I cannot gain
One hour of watching; but their drowsy brain
Comforts not me, and doth my doctrine stain:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Arise, arise, they come. Look how they run.
Alas! what haste they make to be undone!
How with their lanterns do they seek the sun!
  Was ever grief like mine?

With clubs and staves they seek me, as a thief,
Who am the way of truth, the true relief;
Most true to those, who are my greatest grief:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Judas, dost thou betray me with a kiss?
Canst thou find hell about my lips? and miss
Of life, just at the gates of life and bliss?
  Was ever grief like mine?

See, they lay hold on me, not with the hands
Of faith, but fury: yet at their commands
I suffer binding, who have loos'd their bands:
  Was ever grief like mine?

All my Disciples fly; fear puts a bar
Betwixt my friends and me. They leave the star
That brought the wise men of the East from far.
  Was ever grief like mine?

Then from one ruler to another bound
They lead me; urging, that it was not sound
What I taught: Comments would the text confound.
  Was ever grief like mine?

The Priest and rulers all false witness seek
'Gainst him, who seeks not life, but is the meek
And ready Paschal Lamb of this great week:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Then they accuse me of great blasphemy,
That I did thrust into the Deity,
Who never thought that any robbery:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Some said, that I the Temple to the floor
In three days raz'd, and raised as before.
Why, he that built the world can do much more:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Then they condemn me all with that same breath,
Which I do give them daily, unto death.
Thus Adam my first breathing rendereth:
  Was ever grief like mine?

They bind, and lead me unto Herod: he
Sends me to Pilate. This makes them agree;
But yet their friendship is my enmity:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Herod and all his bands do set me light,
Who teach all hands to war, fingers to fight,
And only am the Lord of hosts and might:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Herod in judgement sits while I do stand;
Examines me with a censorious hand:
I him obey, who all things else command:
  Was ever grief like mine?

The Jews accuse me with despitefulness;
And vying malice with my gentleness,
Pick quarrels with their only happiness:
  Was ever grief like mine?

I answer nothing, but with patience prove
If stony hearts will melt with gentle love.
But who does hawk at eagles with a dove?
  Was ever grief like mine?

My silence rather doth augment their cry;
My dove doth back into my bosom fly;
Because the raging waters still are high:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Hark how they cry aloud still, 'Crucify:
It is not fit he live a day, ' they cry,
Who cannot live less than eternally:
  Was ever grief like mine?

Pilate a stranger holdeth off; but they,
Mine own dear people, cry, 'Away, away, '
With noises confused frighting the day:
  Was ever grie
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George Herbert

The Very Reverend Honourable George Herbert was an Anglican priest. more…

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"The Sacrifice" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 23 Aug. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/15401/the-sacrifice>.

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