Good Friday, 1613, Riding Westward

From the poem of that name by John Donne:

Could I behold those hands, which span the poles

And tune all spheres at once, pierced with those holes?

Could I behold that endless height, which is

Zenith to us and our antipodes,

Humbled below us ? or that blood, which is

The seat of all our soul’s, if not of His,

Made dirt of dust, or that flesh which was worn

By God for His apparel, ragg’d and torn ?

If on these things I durst not look, durst I

On His distressed Mother cast mine eye,

Who was God’s partner here, and furnish’d thus

Half of that sacrifice which ransom’d us ?

Though these things as I ride be from mine eye,

They’re present yet unto my memory,

For that looks towards them ; and Thou look’st towards me,

O Saviour, as Thou hang’st upon the tree.

I turn my back to thee but to receive

Corrections till Thy mercies bid Thee leave.

O think me worth Thine anger, punish me,

Burn off my rust, and my deformity ;

Restore Thine image, so much, by Thy grace,

That Thou mayst know me, and I’ll turn my face.


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