Good Friday

Original Text: 
A. J. M. Smith, The Complete Poems, ed. Brian Trehearne (London, Ontario: Canadian Poetry Press, 2007): 144.
1This day upon the bitter tree
2Died one who had he willed
3Could have dried up the wide sea
4    And the wind stilled,
5And when at the ninth hour
6He surrenderèd the ghost
7His face was faded flower,
8    Drooping and lost.
9Who then was not afraid?
10Targeted, heart and eye,
11Struck, as with darts, by godhead
12    In human agony.
13For him, who with a cry
14Could shatter if he willed
15The sea and earth and sky
16    And them re-build,
17Who chose amid the tumult
18Of the darkening sky
19A chivalry more difficult-
20    As man to die,
21What answering meed of love
22Can this frail flesh return
23That is not all unworthy of
24    The god I mourn?
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Canadian Mercury
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

Copyright © the estate of A.J.M. Smith. Included
with the generous permission of William Toye, his literary executor.