For very many years the good Shepherd's

For very many years the good Shepherd's
apt words and prompt deeds have been summoning
His flock out of that dangerous meadow
where they were bewildered, lost, up onto

the safe lovely mountain top. There we see
the blows, cross He bore, and grasp how deep His
passion--nails, spiny thorns, His gems, spangled
with spilling watery blood, the fountain

whence he feeds us, sustains, enacts God's will--
fleeting grief endlessly washing away,
obliterating long-endured evil.

A ray of His light would melt the frost but that
hard wax, dense shadowy clouds, a great rock
all lie between God and the pressed-in heart.

An image of the Italian text from Visconti's 1840 edition
From V LXVIII:228. See also B S1:56:113; MSs L and V2; Valgrisi 56. Interesting commentary by Mazzetti, 80. A seventh in a series meditating Christ. Key

Amaro Lagrimar
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