O, SAD and solemn holy day,
O, bitterest of bitter hours!
Behold He staggers on His way
Beneath the cross that saps His powers.
O, see, they goad Him with their thongs,
And mock Him as He falters there,
For us, for us He bears these wrongs
And goes the crown of thorns to wear.
No word of bitterness He speaks,
No look of hatred mars His face,
The scoffers spit upon His cheeks
And taunt Him in the market place;
And now upon the cross He ‘s nailed,
‘I thirst,’ He mutters, that is all;
But still He is to be assailed,
His lips must taste the cup of gall.
Once more His lips are seen to move,
O, holy sentence uttered there!
What more His love could better prove
Than these few words borne on the air:
‘Father, forgive them,’ thus He prayed,
And doubt you that His love was true?
Still patient, gentle, unafraid,
‘Forgive, they know not what they do.”
For us the crown of thorns He wore
With patience man has never known;
For us the cruel cross He bore
With meekness man has never shown.
For us He lived, for us He died,
O, sad and solemn holy day,
Renouncing self and earthly pride
That we might know the better way.