Robert Buchanan

’T WAS the body of Judas Iscariot
 Lay in the Field of Blood;
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Beside the body stood.
 
Black was the earth by night
 And black was the sky;
Black, black were the broken clouds,
 Tho’ the red Moon went by.
 
’T was the body of Judas Iscariot
 Strangled and dead lay there;
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Look’d on it in despair.
 
The breath of the World came and went
 Like a sick man’s in rest;
Drop by drop on the World’s eyes
 The dews fell cool and blest.
 
Then the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Did make a gentle moan—
“I will bury underneath the ground
 My flesh and blood and bone.
 
“I will bury deep beneath the soil,
 Lest mortals look thereon,
And when the wolf and raven come
 The body will be gone!
 
“The stones of the field are sharp as steel,
 And hard and bold, God wot;
And I must bear my body hence
 Until I find a spot!”
 
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot
 So grim, and gaunt, and gray,
Rais’d the body of Judas Iscariot,
 And carried it away.
 
And as he bare it from the field
 Its touch was cold as ice,
And the ivory teeth within the jaw
 Rattled aloud, like dice.
 
As the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Carried its load with pain,
The Eye of Heaven, like a lanthorn’s eye,
 Open’d and shut again.
 
Half he walk’d, and half he seem’d
 Lifted on the cold wind;
He did not turn, for chilly hands
 Were pushing from behind.
 
The first place that he came unto
 It was the open wold,
And underneath were prickly whins,
 And a wind that blew so cold.
 
The next place that he came unto
 It was a stagnant pool,
And when he threw the body in
 It floated light as wool.
 
He drew the body on his back,
 And it was dripping chill,
And the next place that he came unto
 Was a Cross upon a hill.
 
A Cross upon the windy hill,
 And a Cross on either side,
Three skeletons that swing thereon,
 Who had been crucified.
 
And on the middle crossbar sat
 A white Dove slumbering;
Dim it sat in the dim light,
 With its head beneath its wing.
 
And underneath the middle Cross
 A grave yawn’d wide and vast,
But the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Shiver’d, and glided past.
 
The fourth place that he came unto
 It was the Brig of Dread,
And the great torrents rushing down
 Were deep, and swift, and red.
 
He dar’d not fling the body in
 For fear of faces dim,
And arms were wav’d in the wild water
 To thrust it back to him.
 
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Turn’d from the Brig of Dread,
And the dreadful foam of the wild water
 Had splash’d the body red.
 
For days and nights he wander’d on
 Upon an open plain,
And the days went by like blinding mist,
 And the nights like rushing rain.
 
For days and nights he wander’d on,
 All thro’ the Wood of Woe;
And the nights went by like moaning wind,
 And the days like drifting snow.
 
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Came with a weary face—
Alone, alone, and all alone,
 Alone in a lonely place!
 
He wander’d east, he wander’d west,
 And heard no human sound;
For months and years, in grief and tears,
 He wander’d round and round.
 
For months and years, in grief and tears,
 He walk’d the silent night;
Then the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Perceiv’d a far-off light.
 
A far-off light across the waste,
 As dim as dim might be,
That came and went like a lighthouse gleam
 On a black night at sea.
 
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot
 Crawl’d to the distant gleam;
And the rain came down, and the rain was blown
 Against him with a scream.
 
For days and nights he wander’d on,
 Push’d on by hands behind;
And the days went by like black, black rain,
 And the nights like rushing wind.
 
’T was the soul of Judas Iscariot,
 Strange, and sad, and tall,
Stood all alone at dead of night
 Before a lighted hall.
 
And the wold was white with snow,
 And his footmarks black and damp,
And the ghost of the silver Moon arose,
 Holding her yellow lamp.
 
And the icicles were on the eaves,
 And the walls were deep with white,
And the shadows of the guests within
 Pass’d on the window light.
 
The shadows of the
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"Robert Buchanan" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Aug. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/39765/robert-buchanan>.

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