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Why Weep Ye So Today?

I believe I may have posted this little poem once before. But today, for some reason, I found myself thinking of it and thought it would be fun to post once more. It was written years ago by my great grandfather (a man I never knew) who pastored an Anglican congregation in the Eastern part of Quebec. The poem is called “O Little Child of Salem.” If I recall correctly, my mother found this in some of her grandfather’s things left behind when he died. What draws me to it as poetry is the way the first three stanzas are so perfectly completed in the last. What draws me to it as theology is the great hope of the resurrection.

O little child of Salem
Why weep ye so today?
I weep the gentle master
Who wiped my tears away.
Last night in Joseph’s garden
All cold and white he lay,
And now my heart is breaking
While other children play.

O little maid of Jairus,
Why weep ye so today?
Your dusky lashes trailing
The cheeks of ashen grey.
I weep the mighty master
Who waked me from my sleep,
But now in Joseph’s garden,
He slumbers, still and deep.

O Mary, timid Mary,
Why weep ye so today?
I weep the gentle Saviour,
Who took my sins away.
My spices all are gathered
To grace the rocky bed,
For now in Joseph’s garden,
My Lord is lying dead,

O child, O maid, O Mary,
Lift up your eyes and see,
The lilies all a-rocking,
In winds of Araby.
The turtle-dove is calling,
The birds are singing gay,
And there in Joseph’s garden,
The stone is rolled away.


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