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Short poem

E. Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)

Brier: Good Friday

              1Because, dear Christ, your tender, wounded arm
              2    Bends back the brier that edges life's long way,
              3That no hurt comes to heart, to soul no harm,
              4    I do not feel the thorns so much to-day.

              5Because I never knew your care to tire,
              6    Your hand to weary guiding me aright,
              7Because you walk before and crush the brier,
              8    It does not pierce my feet so much to-night.

              9Because so often you have hearkened to
            10    My selfish prayers, I ask but one thing now,
            11That these harsh hands of mine add not unto
            12    The crown of thorns upon your bleeding brow.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake), Flint and Feather: The Complete Poems, with Introduction by Theodore Watts-Dunton and a Biographical Sketch of the Author, Illustrated by J. R. Seavey, 7th edn. (1912: Toronto and London: The Musson Book Co., Ltd., 1921): 67. PS 8469 O3F5 1921 Robarts Library.
First publication date: 1912
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1997-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/8

Rhyme: abab

Other poems by E. Pauline Johnson