25 NOVEMBER 1938, Page 10


SADNESSES, terrors, spleen, live pain, dead hope, Each, all, we know ; we have endured them all ; No future and no past for us. We grope, Endurers of a wisdom that is gall !

O Galilean, we adore thy scourge.

Another lash. Quick. Here. Across the heart. Our faces blush with buffets ; blessed purge ! We turn the other cheek ; we take Thy part.

We ask no mercy but the final stroke.

Flay us. Cry, World : " The Snake has cast his skin." Through Christian humus let the blood-stream soak. Excise the Race. Let the new race begin.

We ask no mercy. Has not Christ believed ? His crucifixion was a temporal act, Yea, and eternal. Virgin womb conceived ; The mutilated God arose intact.

We will believe incredibles, to die, Not in ourselves alone, but in the Race. Life is the living horror on this eye, The Golgotha no wisdom can displace.

Can we be mad ? Or can the Race be Christ ? Can God in man be God in Israel ?

And this the Second Coming ? We exist, And earth is death, and we go down to hell.

No. No. For His young joy we never knew. We served a Carpenter of Crosses, we, And made our cross, the Jew's cross for the Jew, Watered by tears from eyes too bright to see.

We made our cross, accurst, unreconciled, And nailed thereto the sanest of our sect. Not by Acosta would we be beguiled, Nor by Spinoza ; we were circumspect.

But circumspection shall not save the soul ; No wisdom can, no prophecies, no art. There is no mean but agony, no goal But immanent Chorazin for each heart.

We agonise our hearts to please the world, As none but dreamers do, buy dear, sell cheap. Our golden calves are in the market hurled, And we that sow in tears in torture reap.

Dictators of the world, pass, pass, sublime, Raised by our travail, by our anguish fed. Your Inquisition were a venial crime Could its administrants believe us dead.

But the eternal Psyche that we bear, The larva'd moth within our creeping shapes, Never takes wing, while torments everywhere Contract our visionary brows to apes'.

Our kestrel noses and our spaniel eyes, Our skins, metallic as the coins ye claim, Our lips, too swoln to part in glad surprise, Our hands, more lubric than a glancing flame : These mark us out, these are the documents By which as your examinees we live ; These are your Quo zvarranto, these your rents, Your all-in-all, except our King's Forgive.

Dictators of the world, sublime, pass, pass, The treasure of the pure in heart who scorn ; Perceive ye no Redeemer in the mass That flees the wrath, no promise of a morn ?

For we have seen the ladder and the ark, The tables broken, the veil rent in twain ; We hear the sabachthani through the dark ; And One that rose shall rise in us again.