Ash Wednesday to Pentecost

The Cruel Implements

  1. The first lash was an accident
    Inside a mine of gold;
    Thirteen for muck, thirteen for luck,
    Thirteen were bought and sold:
    But the walls were high and the walls were thick,
    So nobody was told.
  2. The first thorn from a President
    In a palace full of rings
    Joined thorns of stone and human bone
    From emperors and kings:
    But the crowning went unwitnessed
    As they hated suffering.
  3. The first nail was a precedent
    Set down in a decree;
    One for the great, one for estate,
    A last for property:
    But as long as there is argument
    We still have liberty.
  4. The scimitar's hilt was an ornament
    To artifice and grief
    With filigree veins and bloody stains
    In clots of bas relief:
    But its blade was the final reckoning
    For the soul of a dying thief.
  5. The Holy Cross was a testament
    Barbaric, cruel and raw
    Yet its wood was sold and dipped in gold
    To edify the poor:
    But would Jesus fare much better
    If he came to earth once more?