"The Ballad of Judas Iscariot"

 A kindly commenter at University Diaries alerted me to this poem.  Judas Iscariot has always been a figure of deep interest for me (and, by the way for St. Francis Borgia).  I excerpted this poem because I find some of the thought exceptionally appealing and some of the imagery superb.

The Ballad of Judas Iscariot
Robert Buchanan

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
    Did hush itself and stand,
And saw the Bridegroom at the door
    With a light in his hand.

The Bridegroom stood in the open door,
    And he was clad in white,
And far within the Lord's Supper
    Was spread so broad and bright.

The Bridegroom shaded his eyes and look'd,
    And his face was bright to see —
'What dost thou here at the Lord's Supper
    With thy body's sins?' said he.

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
    Stood black, and sad, and bare —
'I have wandered many nights and days;
    There is no light elsewhere.'

'Twas the wedding guests cried out within,
    And their eyes were fierce and bright —
'Scourge the soul of Judas Iscariot
    Away into the night!'

The Bridegroom stood in the open door,
    And he waved hands still and slow,
And the third time that he waved his hands
    The air was thick with snow.

And of every flake of falling snow,
    Before it touched the ground,
There came a dove, and a thousand doves
    Made sweet sound.

'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
    Floated away full fleet,
And the wings of the doves that bare it off
    Were like its winding-sheet.

'Twas the Bridegroom stood at the open door,
    And beckon'd, smiling sweet;
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
    Stole in, and fell at his feet.

'The Holy Supper is spread within,
    And the many candles shine,
And I have waited long for thee
    Before I poured the wine!'

The supper wine is poured at last,
    The lights burn bright and fair,
Iscariot washes the Bridegroom's feet,
    And dries them with his hair.

Find the full poem here.  Tomorrow, perhaps I will comment more on it.   "And the wings of the doves that bare it off. . ."  quite lovely, quite insightful.


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