The Wayside Calvary
Now with the full year Memory holds her tryst
Heavy with such a tale of bitter loss
As never Earth has suffered since the Christ
Hung for us on the Cross.
If God, O Kaiser, makes the vision plain:
Gives you on some lone Calvary to see
The Man of Sorrows Who endured the pain
And died to set us free --
How will you face beneath its Crown of thorn
That Figure stark against the smoking skies,
The Arms outstretched, the Sacred Head forlorn
And those reproachful Eyes?
How dare confront the false quest with the true
Or think what gulfs between the ideals lie
Of Him Who died that men might live -- and you
Who live that men may die.
Ah, turn your eyes away: He reads your heart;
Pass on and, having done your work abhorred,
Join hands with Judas in his place apart,
You who betrayed your Lord.
Notes(Lines written on the anniversary of the outbreak of the war.)
J. W. Cunliffe, ed. Poems of the Great War. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1916.