Why Doth My Saviour Weep

And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it.
St. Luke xix. 41.

~The Rev. John Keble


WHY doth my Saviour weep
At sight of Sion’s bowers?
Shows it not fair from yonder steep,
Her gorgeous crown of towers?
Mark well His holy pains:
’Tis not in pride or scorn,
That Israel’s King with sorrow stains
His own triumphal morn.

It is not that His soul
Is wandering sadly on,
In thought how soon at death’s dark goal
Their course will all be run,
Who now are shouting round
Hosanna to their chief;
No thought like this in Him is found,
This were a Conquerer’s grief.

Or doth He feel the Cross
Already in His heart,
The pain, the shame, the scorn, the loss?
Feel e’en His God depart?
No: though He knew full well
The grief that then shall be—
The grief that angels cannot tell—
Our God in agony.

It is not thus He mourns;
Such might be martyr’s tears,
When his last lingering look he turns
On human hopes and fears;
But hero ne’er or saint
The secret load might know,
With which His spirit waxeth faint;
His is a Saviour’s woe.

“If thou had’st known, e’en thou,
At least in this thy day,
The message of thy peace! but now
’Tis passed for aye away:
Now foes shall trench thee round,
And lay thee even with earth,
And dash thy children to the ground,
Thy glory and thy mirth.”

And doth the Saviour weep
Over His people’s sin,
Because we will not let Him keep
The souls He died to win?
Ye hearts, that love the Lord,
If at this, sight ye burn,
See that in thought, in deed, in word,
Ye hate what made Him mourn.