White Brother

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

Midway between the flaming lines he lay,
A tumbled heap of blood, and sweat, and clay;
--God's son!

And none could succour him. First this one tried,
Then that ... and then another ... and they died;
--God's sons!

Those others saw his plight, and laughed and jeered,
And, at each helper's fall, laughed more, and cheered;
--God's sons?

So, through the torture of an endless day,
In agonies that none could ease, he lay;
--God's son!

Then, as he wrestled for each hard-won breath,
Bleeding his life out, craving only death;--
--God's son!

--Came One in white, athwart the fiery hail,
And in His hand, a shining cup--The Grail;
--God's Son!

He knelt beside him on the reeking ground,
And with a touch soothed each hot-throbbing wound;
--God's Son!

Gave him to drink, and in his failing ear
Whispered sweet words of comfort and good cheer;
--God's Son!

The suffering one looked up into the face
Of Him whose death to sinners brought God's grace;
--God's Son!

The tender brow with unhealed wounds was scarred,
The hand that held The Cup, the nails had marred;
--God's Son!

"Brother, for thee I suffered greater woes;
As I forgave,--do thou forgive thy foes,
--God's son!"

"Yea, Lord, as Thou forgavest, I forgive;
And now, my soul unto Thyself receive,
--God's Son!"

Thick-clustered in the battered trench, amazed,
They gazed at that strange sight ... and gazed ... and gazed;
--God's sons!

--The Christ of God, come down to succour one
Of their own number,--their own mate--
--God's son!

And none who saw that sight will e'er forget
How once, upon the field of death, they met
--God's Son.

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