Sunday, 6 November 2011

Forgive them Father for they know not what they do

The horror of the recent stage play (click here) in France where the face of Christ was publicly defiled  reminded me of this poem…for Birmingham read ‘Paris’

 A famous poem by an Anglican vicar:

When Jesus came to Golgotha
they hanged him on a tree.
They drave great nails through
hands and feet,
And made a Calvary.
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns,
red were His wounds and deep.
For those were crude and cruel days,
And human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham
they simply passed Him by.
They never hurt a hair of Him,
they only let Him die.
For men had grown more tender,
And they would not give Him pain,
they only just passed down the street
and left Him in the rain.

Still, Jesus cried,
“Forgive them for they know not what they do,”
and still it rained the wintry rain
that drenched Him through and through;
the crowds went home and left the streets
without a soul to see,
and Jesus crouched against a wall
and cried for Calvary.

G A Studdert-Kennedy


  1. Thanks for the introduction to this excellent poem. It is, if I may say so, an unusual choice for the Parisian subject being more concerned with the cold indifference Our Lord might experience as one of the poor of this country. What happened in Paris seems to me much more sinister.

  2. Patricius, it might appear as if I was stretching things a little but I thought that the indifference of the masses to the French play was appropriate to the sentiments of the poem.
    God bless.