by Sarah N. Cleghorn
from Portraits and Protests (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1917)
Thanks to Saint Matthew, who had been
At mass-meetings in Palestine,
We know whose side was spoken for
When comrade Jesus had the floor.
“Where sore they toil and hard they lie,
Among the great unwashed, dwell I.
The tramp, the convict, I am he:
Cold-shoulder him, cold-shoulder me.”
By Dives’ door, with thoughtful eye,
He did tomorrow prophesy:–
“The kingdom’s gate is low and small:
The rich can scarce wedge through at all.”
“A dangerous man,” said Caiaphas,
“An ignorant demagogue, alas.
Friend of low women, it is he
Slanders the upright Pharisee.”
For law and order, it was plain,
For Holy Church, he must be slain.
The troops were there to awe the crowd:
Mob violence was not allowed.
Their clumsy force with force to foil,
His strong, clean hands he would not soil,
He saw their childishness quite plain
Between the lightnings of his pain.
Between the twilights of his end
He made his fellow-felon friend.
With swollen tongue and blinded eyes
Invited him to Paradise.
Ah, let no Local him refuse!
Comrade Jesus has paid his dues.
Whatever other be debarred,
Comrade Jesus has his red card.
* * * * *