“The Burden” by Philip Rosenbaum

Triumphal Entry by Gustave Dore
Gustave Doré (French, 1832–1883), The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, 1876. Oil on canvas, 38-1/4 × 51 in.

Unaccustomed to her burden, she knows not
That never beast bore such a Man as this,
Who meekly rides to His appointed lot,
A crown of thorns and a betrayer’s kiss.
And never man will carry such a weight
As He bears now in this, His day of power,
Ascending toward a strait and narrow gate,
His agonizing last and finest hour.
She bravely struggles on, despite her fear
Of cheering men, whom He as gravely views
As an admiral watching distant storms draw near
To lash bright waves to dark and deadly hues;
He knows the death decreed in ancient psalms,
The Tree that looms beyond these scattered palms.

“The Burden” © 2004 by Philip Rosenbaum. Reprinted with permission. Published privately as one of twenty-four poems in the volume Holy Week Sonnets. To purchase a copy of the book, contact the author through his website, ChristianPoet.org. (Take it from me: both the physical book and its content are of high quality. It’s a lovely, professionally designed and printed hardcover edition with textured paper and a ribbon marker and a foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada, containing skillfully written poems from various points along the Christ narrative, and various perspectives. The latter half contains correlative scripture passages.)

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