Lord Christ, When First Thou Cam’st to Men
Lord Christ, when first thou cam’st to men,
Upon a cross they bound thee,
And mocked thy saving kingship then
By thorns with which they crowned thee:
And still our wrongs may weave thee now
New thorns to pierce that steady brow,
And robe of sorrow round thee.
O aweful Love, which found no room
In life where sin denied thee,
And, doomed to death, must bring to doom
The power which crucified thee,
Till not a stone was left on stone,
And all a nation’s pride, o’erthrown,
Went down to dust beside thee!
New advent of the love of Christ,
Shall we again refuse thee,
Till in the night of hate and war
We perish as we lose thee?
From old unfaith our souls release
To seek the kingdom of thy peace,
By which alone we choose thee.
O wounded hands of Jesus, build
In us thy new creation;
Our pride is dust, our vaunt is stilled,
We wait thy revelation:
O love that triumphs over loss,
We bring our hearts before thy cross,
To finish thy salvation.
– Walter Russell Bowie, 1928
BOHEMIAN BRETHEREN published 1566
Photo: Adoration of the Magi by Claude Vignon, c. 1619, creative commons 2.0