The Holy Emerald

Original Text: 
The Collected Sonnets of Charles (Tennyson) Turner. Ed. F. B. Pinion and M. Pinion (London: MacMillan Press, 1988) : 108.
1The gem, to which the artist did entrust
2That Face which now outshines the Cherubim,
3Gave up, full willingly, its emerald dust,
4To take Christ's likeness, to make room for Him.
5So must it be, if thou wouldst bear about
6Thy Lord -- thy shining surface must be lowered,
7Thy goodly prominence be chipt and scored,
8Till those deep scars have brought His features out:
9Sharp be the stroke and true, make no complaints;
10For heavenly lines thou givest earthy grit:
11But oh! how oft our coward spirit faints,
12When we are called our jewels to submit
13To this keen graver, which so oft hath writ
14The Saviour's image on His wounded saints!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: