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  The Love Of Christ Which Passeth Knowledge  


I bore with thee long weary days and nights,
    Through many pangs of heart, through many tears;
I bore with thee, thy hardness, coldness, slights,
    For three and thirty years.

Who else had dared for thee what I have dared?
    I plunged the depth most deep from bliss above;
I not My flesh, I not My spirit spared:
    Give thou Me love for love.

For thee I thirsted in the daily drouth,
    For thee I trembled in the nightly frost:
Much sweeter thou than honey to My mouth:
    Why wilt thou still be lost?

I bore thee on My shoulders and rejoiced:
    Men only marked upon My shoulders borne
The branding cross; and shouted hungry-voiced,
    Or wagged their heads in scorn.

Thee did nails grave upon My hands, thy name
    Did thorns for frontlets stamp between Mine eyes:
I, Holy One, put on thy guilt and shame;
    I, God, Priest, Sacrifice.

A thief upon My right hand and My left;
    Six hours alone, athirst, in misery:
At length in death one smote My heart and cleft
    A hiding-place for thee.

Nailed to the racking cross, than bed of down
    More dear, whereon to stretch Myself and sleep:
So did I win a kingdom,--share My crown;
    A harvest,--come and reap.

       - Christina G. Rossetti

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