Bad Days by Boris Pasternak

Bad Days

When Passion week started and Jesus 
Came down to the city, that day 
Hosannahs burst out at his entry 
And palm leaves were strewn in his way. 

But days grow more stern and more stormy. 
No love can men’s hardness unbend; 
Their brows are contemptuously frowning, 
And now comes the postscript, the end. 

Grey, leaden and heavy, the heavens 
Were pressing on treetops and roofs. 
The Pharisees, fawning like foxes, 
Were secretly searching for proofs. 

The lords of the Temple let scoundrels 
Pass judgement, and those who at first 
Had fervently followed and hailed him, 
Now all just as zealously cursed. 

The crowd on the neighbouring sector 
Was looking inside through the gate. 
They jostled, intent on the outcome, 
Bewildered and willing to wait. 

And whispers and rumours were creeping, 
Repeating the dominant theme. 
The flight into Egypt, his childhood 
Already seemed faint as a dream. 

And Jesus remembered the desert, 
The days in the wilderness spent, 
The tempting with power by Satan, 
That lofty, majestic descent. 

He thought of the wedding at Cana, 
The feast and the miracles; and 
How once he had walked on the waters 
Through mist to a boat, as on land; 

The beggarly crowd in a hovel, 
The cellar to which he was led; 
How, started, the candle-flame guttered, 
When Lazarus rose from the dead…

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Filed under The Ramblings of a Reformed Ecclesiastic

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