Peter's Pence From Perugia

A poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne

Iscariot, thou grey-grown beast of blood,
Stand forth to plead; stand, while red drops run here
And there down fingers shaken with foul fear,
Down the sick shivering chin that stooped and sued,
Bowed to the bosom, for a little food
At Herod's hand, who smites thee cheek and ear.
Cry out, Iscariot; haply he will hear;
Cry, till he turn again to do thee good.
Gather thy gold up, Judas, all thy gold,
And buy thee death; no Christ is here to sell,
But the dead earth of poor men bought and sold,
While year heaps year above thee safe in hell,
To grime thy grey dishonourable head
With dusty shame, when thou art damned and dead.

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