Fill High the Bowl

" FILL high the bowl, and spice it well, and pour
The dews oblivious: for the Cross is sharp,
The Cross is sharp, and He
Is tenderer than a lamb.

" He wept by Lazarus" grave — how will He bear
This bed of anguish? and His pale weak form
Is worn with many a watch
Of sorrow and unrest.

" His sweat last night was as great drops of blood,
And the sad burthen press'd Him so to earth,
The very torturers paus'd
To help Him on His way.

" Fill high the bowl, benumb His aching sense
With medicin'd sleep." — O awful in Thy woe!
The parching thirst of death
Is on Thee, and Thou triest

The slumb'rous potion bland, and wilt not drink:
Not sullen, nor in scorn, like haughty man
With suicidal hand
Putting his solace by:

But as at first Thine all-pervading look
Saw from Thy Father's bosom to th' abyss,
Measuring in calm presage
The infinite descent;

So to the end, though now of mortal pangs
Made heir, and emptied of Thy glory awhile,
With unaverted eye
Thou meetest all the storm.

Thou wilt feel all, that Thou mayst pity all;
And rather wouldst Thou wrestle with strong pain,
Than overcloud Thy soul,
So clear in agony,

Or lose one glimpse of Heaven before the time.
O most entire and perfect sacrifice,
Renew'd in every pulse
That on the tedious Cross

Told the long hours of death, as, one by one,
The life-strings of that tender heart gave way;
E'en sinners, taught by Thee,
Look Sorrow in the face,

And bid her freely welcome, unbeguil'd
By false kind solaces, and spells of earth: —
And yet not all unsooth'd:
For when was Joy so dear,

As the deep calm that breath'd " Father, forgive ",
Or, " Be with Me in Paradise to-day "?
And, though the strife be sore,
Yet in His parting breath

Love masters Agony; the soul that seem'd
Forsaken, feels her present God again,
And in her Father's arms
Contented dies away.
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