Excerpted from The Kingdom of Heaven (The Saviour of the World – Vol. 3)
by Charlotte M. Mason
Part of an epic six volume set of poetry on the life of Christ.
The Passover was nigh; high Spring had come;
As when an army passing through a land
Leaves track of desolation, charred and sere,—
E’en so another host had passed that way
Leaving the land apulse with life and light!
Life had made her royal progress, hung her boughs
With rosy blossoms; made the waste to bloom—
Garden of flowers rich-painted, odorous;
Crept, greening through the grasses; flushed bare trees;
Set birds apairing, full of joy and song,
And brought all tender young things to the birth!
That marvel of the Spring had come to pass
And left the earth renewed; the dry and sere
Now burgeoned into life; the hoary earth
Was born again to gladness! Who can mark
The parable of the spring and take no heed,
Nor wonder at the upwards course the sap
Takes in the barren tree-trunk, finds its way
To furthest lateral branch and topmost twig,
And clothes bare limbs with miracle of leaves!
The little life laid up in gem-like egg,
Or that in bone-dry chrysalis, breaks forth;
And would men hold them from that fuss of days—
Affairs, so futile, fond, engross their thought—
Why, they might see Life early walk abroad
With movement, glow and beauty in her train;
Hear rhapsody and hymning in the air,
For what was dead hath come alive again!
But we are staled to wonders, slow of heart,
And greet surprises of the spring with eyes
Long used to things familiar—of small count!
The LORD of life, was’t nought to Him to see
Through all things living, their green pulse renewed—
(Or red, or pale)—quickening the whole to life?
Took He no joy in multi-coloured veil
Spread sudden o’er the plains of Galilee,
Her mountain-slopes, her soft ethereal skies?
Sure, all the shows of earth were good to Him
As some great Minster to the architect;—
In such wise all things praise the hand that made!
A deeper joy was Christ’s: the world of sense,
Astirring with new life, with beauty pranked,
Imaged for Him, how exquisite a life
Concealed in chrysalis dry as desert dust!
What sudden glory His foreseeing eye
Perceived break forth from this poor pilgrim, fraught
(And that), with dust of wayside, lying thick!
And His thoughts went out to the six great roads
Traversed all Galilee, north, south, east, west,
For flush of life discernible in crowds
Thronging the ways? perchance, to them, the Twelve,
As arteries, carried Life through all the plains,
The dry hard cities, thirsting villages!