This is a little poem that my grandfather wrote many years ago. He was an Anglican minister, born in the 1870’s, who pastored churches all through the Eastern Townships of Quebec province. I never saw him wearing anything other than his black trousers and shirt, with a clerical collar. I have mentioned his ‘shiny’ face before.

I know this is slightly pre- Easter, but generally seasonable:

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 might master
Who waked my from my sleep,
And now in Joseph’ 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 the 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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