The York Crucifixion of Christ (3 of 4)

The soldiers hoist the cross and complain about its weight:
First soldier:
For great harm have I had,
My shoulder is asunder.
Second soldier:
And certain, I am near spent,

So long have I borne under.
Meanwhile, Christ is silent.
After carrying the cross partway up the hill (that is, the wagon), the soldiers pause to catch their collective breath (and to complain some more).
They begin to raise the cross. . .

First Soldier:
Now raise him nemely for the nonce
And set him in this mortice here.
And let him fall in all at once
For sure his pain shall have no peer.
Third Soldier:
Heave up!
Fourth Soldier:
Let down, so all his bones
Are a-sunder now on sides here.
First Soldier:
That falling was more fierce
Than all the harms he's had.


June, 1997 -- site first published in (Re)Soundings
16 Jul 1999 -- site posted here 
08 Jan 2001 -- page last modified