John McCullagh April 14, 2006
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Writing on Good Friday, I consider it appropriate to continue on the religious and sacrificial theme. The following are two of my favourites by Irish writers:

I see his blood upon the rose,

And in the stars the glory of his eyes,

His body gleams amid eternal snows,

His tears fall from the skies.
 

I see his face in every flower;

The thunder, and the singing of the birds

Are but His voice; and, carven by His power,

Rocks are His written words.
 

All the pathways by His feet are worn,

His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea;

His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn;

His cross is every tree.
 

By Joseph Mary Plunkett

 


 ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’ is one of my favourite short musical compositions.  On the same subject,  I look forward in anticipation each year – it is always featured at this time of year on radio and television – to a plaintive, choral version of Katherine Tynan’s ‘Sheep and Lambs’.
 

All in the April evening

April airs were abroad;

The sheep with their little lambs

Passed me by on the road.
 

The sheep with their little lambs

Passed me by on the road

All in the April evening

I thought on the Lamb of God.
 

The lambs were weary, and crying

With a weak, human cry.

I thought on the Lamb of God

Going meekly to die.


Up in the blue, blue mountains

Dewy pastures are sweet;

Rest for the little bodies

Rest for the little feet.
 

But for the lamb of God,

Up on the hill-top green

Only a cross of shame,

Two stark crosses between.
 

All in the April evening

April airs were abroad;

I saw the sheep with their lambs

And thought on the Lamb of God.

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