An Easter Poem from Dorothy Sayers

By

[Thanks to Lanier Ivester for introducing us to this gem. Happy Easter, folks. He is risen.]

Desdichado

—This is the heir; come let us kill him.

—Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved?

Christ walks the world again, His lute upon His back,
His red robe rent to tatters, His riches gone to rack,
The wind that wakes the morning blows His hair about His face,
His hands and feet are ragged with the ragged briar’s embrace,
For the hunt is up behind Him and His sword is at His side,…
Christ the bonny outlaw walks the whole world wide,
Singing: “Lady, lady, will you come away with Me,
Lie among the bracken and break the barley bread?
We will see new suns arise in golden, far-off skies,
For the Son of God and Woman hath not where to lay His head.”

Christ walks the world again, a prince of fairy-tale,
He roams, a rascal fiddler, over mountain and down dale,
Cast forth to seek His fortune in a bitter world and grim,
For the stepsons of His Father’s house would steal His bride from Him;
They have weirded Him to wander till He bring within His hands
The water of eternal youth from black-enchanted lands,

Singing: “Lady, lady, will you come away with Me,
Or sleep on silken cushions in the bower of wicked men?
For if we walk together through the wet and windy weather,
When I ride back home triumphant, you will ride beside Me then.”

Christ walks the world again, new-bound on high emprise,
With music in His golden mouth and laughter in His eyes;
The primrose springs before Him as He treads the dusty way,
His singer’s crown of thorns has burst in blossom like the may,
He heedeth not the morrow and He never looks behind,
Singing: “Glory to the open skies and peace to all mankind.”

Singing: “Lady, lady, will you come away with Me?
Was never man lived longer for the hoarding of his breath;
Here be dragons to be slain, here be rich rewards to gain . . .
If we perish in the seeking . . . why, how small a thing is death!”

—Dorothy Sayers


7 Comments

  1. Lanier

    And many thanks to my friend Kimberlee for introducing me to it! A gem indeed. I read it at our sunrise service this morning in our pasture and I could hardly make it through. It’s the kind of poem that makes me want ‘to carry a sword instead of a walking stick’. I love it.

    He is risen, indeed!! Happy Easter, rabbits!

  2. Pete Peterson

    @pete

    I discovered Miss Sayers’s Catholic Tales and Christian Songs when I was in law school. There were many evenings when I needed these poems.

    But it had been too long since I read this one. Thank you, Lanier. A very Happy Easter to you, Philip, and your house.

  3. Lady Grey

    This was awesome! Never knew she wrote poetry. Must add this to my growing Rabbit Room recommended reading list! Thank you for pouting this gem. And thanks to David for revealing the title this came from. Now, I wonder if that elusive librarian might be able to assist me in finding this book?

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