The Love of Christ Which Passeth All Understanding

I bore with thee long weary days and nights, 
    Through many pangs of heart, through many tears; 
I bore with thee, thy hardness, coldness, slights, 
    For three and thirty years. 

Who else had dared for thee what I have dared? 
    I plunged the depth most deep from bliss above; 
I not My flesh, I not My spirit spared: 
    Give thou Me love for love. 

For thee I thirsted in the daily drouth, 
    For thee I trembled in the nightly frost: 
Much sweeter thou than honey to My mouth: 
    Why wilt thou still be lost? 

I bore thee on My shoulders and rejoiced: 
    Men only marked upon My shoulders borne 
The branding cross; and shouted hungry-voiced, 
    Or wagged their heads in scorn. 

Thee did nails grave upon My hands, thy name 
    Did thorns for frontlets stamp between Mine eyes: 
I, Holy One, put on thy guilt and shame; 
    I, God, Priest, Sacrifice. 

A thief upon My right hand and My left; 
    Six hours alone, athirst, in misery: 
At length in death one smote My heart and cleft 
    A hiding-place for thee. 

Nailed to the racking cross, than bed of down 
    More dear, whereon to stretch Myself and sleep: 
So did I win a kingdom,–share My crown; 
    A harvest,–come and reap.

       – Christina G. Rossetti


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