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A collection of classic Easter poems

Below you'll find a variety of Easter-related poems and prose.

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.



Potential uses for the free books, stories and prose we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book, Easter poem or story.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain eBooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a classic Easter poem or short story for use in the classroom.

NOTE: We try to present these classic poetic works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.


"Ascension Day" by Christina Rossetti

ASCENSION DAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"A Cloud received Him out of their sight."

When Christ went up to Heaven the Apostles stayed
Gazing at Heaven with souls and wills on fire,
Their hearts on flight along the track He made,
Winged by desire.

Their silence spake: "Lord, why not follow Thee?
Home is not home without Thy Blessed Face,
Life is not life. Remember, Lord, and see,
Look back, embrace.

"Earth is one desert waste of banishment,
Life is one long-drawn anguish of decay.
Where Thou wert wont to go we also went:
Why not today?"

Nevertheless a cloud cut off their gaze:
They tarry to build up Jerusalem,
Watching for Him, while thro' the appointed days
He watches them.

They do His Will, and doing it rejoice,
Patiently glad to spend and to be spent:
Still He speaks to them, still they hear His Voice
And are content.

For as a cloud received Him from their sight,
So with a cloud will He return ere long:
Therefore they stand on guard by day, by night,
Strenuous and strong.

They do, they dare, they beyond seven times seven
Forgive, they cry God's mighty word aloud:
Yet sometimes haply lift tired eyes to Heaven--
"Is that His cloud?"


"Ascension Eve" by Christina Rossetti

ASCENSION EVE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

O Lord Almighty, Who hast formed us weak,
With us whom Thou hast formed deal fatherly;
Be found of us whom Thou hast deigned to seek,
Be found that we the more may seek for Thee;
Lord, speak and grant us ears to hear Thee speak;
Lord, come to us and grant us eyes to see;
Lord, make us meek, for Thou Thyself art meek;
Lord, Thou art Love, fill us with charity.
O Thou the Life of living and of dead,
Who givest more the more Thyself hast given,
Suffice us as Thy saints Thou hast sufficed;
That beautified, replenished, comforted,
Still gazing off from earth and up at heaven
We may pursue Thy steps, Lord Jesus Christ.


"Ash Wednesday" by Christina Rossetti

ASH WEDNESDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

My God, my God, have mercy on my sin,
For it is great; and if I should begin
To tell it all, the day would be too small
To tell it in.

My God, Thou wilt have mercy on my sin
For Thy Love's sake: yea, if I should begin
To tell This all, the day would be too small
To tell it in.


"The Descent from the Cross" by Christina Rossetti

THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Is this the Face that thrills with awe
Seraphs who veil their face above?
Is this the Face without a flaw,
The Face that is the Face of Love?
Yea, this defaced, a lifeless clod,
Hath all creation's love sufficed,
Hath satisfied the love of God,
This Face the Face of Jesus Christ.


"Easter" by Edmund Spenser

EASTER

BY EDMUND SPENSER

Most glorious Lord of Lyfe! that, on this day,
Didst make Thy triumph over death and sin;
And, having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive, us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin;
And grant that we, for whom thou diddest dye,
Being with Thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity!
And that Thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love Thee for the same againe;
And for Thy sake, that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne!
So let us love, deare Love, lyke as we ought,
--Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.


"Easter Day" by Christina Rossetti

EASTER DAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Words cannot utter
Christ His returning:
Mankind, keep jubilee,
Strip off your mourning,
Crown you with garlands,
Set your lamps burning.

Speech is left speechless;
Set you to singing,
Fling your hearts open wide,
Set your bells ringing:
Christ the Chief Reaper
Comes, His sheaf bringing.

Earth wakes her song-birds,
Puts on her flowers,
Leads out her lambkins,
Builds up her bowers:
This is man's spousal day,
Christ's day and ours.


"An Easter Flower Gift" by John Greenleaf Whittier

AN EASTER FLOWER GIFT

BY JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER

O dearest bloom the seasons know,
Flowers of the Resurrection blow,
Our hope and faith restore;
And through the bitterness of death
And loss and sorrow, breathe a breath
Of life forevermore!

The thought of Love Immortal blends
With fond remembrances of friends;
In you, O sacred flowers,
By human love made doubly sweet,
The heavenly and the earthly meet,
The heart of Christ and ours!


"Easter Monday" by Christina Rossetti

EASTER MONDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Out in the rain a world is growing green,
On half the trees quick buds are seen
Where glued-up buds have been.
Out in the rain God's Acre stretches green,
Its harvest quick tho' still unseen:
For there the Life hath been.

If Christ hath died His brethren well may die,
Sing in the gate of death, lay by
This life without a sigh:
For Christ hath died and good it is to die;
To sleep whenso He lays us by,
Then wake without a sigh.

Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again:
Wherefore both life and death grow plain
To us who wax and wane;
For Christ Who rose shall die no more again:
Amen: till He makes all things plain
Let us wax on and wane.


"Easter Morning" by Christina Rossetti
0
EASTER MORNING

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

1

The sun arises from the sea,
And all around his rays is flinging,
The flowers are opening on the lea,
The merry birds are singing.

2

The summer breeze is rustling past,
Sweet scents are gathering around it,
The rivulet is flowing fast,
Beside the banks that bound it.

3

All nature seemeth to rejoice,
In the returning summer weather;
Let us with nature raise our voice,
And harmonise together.

4

But not alone for summer skies
Shall praise unto our God be given:
This day our Saviour did arise,
And oped the gate of heaven.

5

To sinful man, if only he
His errings will confess with sorrow,
Then, after earth's night-misery,
Shall dawn a glorious morrow:

6

A blissful bright eternity
Bought by the rising of the Giver,
To Whom all praise, all honour be,
For ever and for ever.


"Easter Tuesday" by Christina Rossetti
1
EASTER TUESDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"Together with my dead body shall they arise."
Shall my dead body arise? then amen and yea
On track of a home beyond the uttermost skies
Together with my dead body shall they.

We know the way: thank God Who hath showed us the way!
Jesus Christ our Way to beautiful Paradise,
Jesus Christ the Same for ever, the Same today.

Five Virgins replenish with oil their lamps, being wise,
Five Virgins awaiting the Bridegroom watch and pray:
And if I one day spring from my grave to the prize,
Together with my dead body shall they.


"Embertide" by Christina Rossetti
2
EMBERTIDE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

I saw a Saint.--How canst thou tell that he
Thou sawest was a Saint?--
I saw one like to Christ so luminously
By patient deeds of love, his mortal taint
Seemed made his groundwork for humility.

And when he marked me downcast utterly
Where foul I sat and faint,
Then more than ever Christ-like kindled he;
And welcomed me as I had been a saint,
Tenderly stooping low to comfort me.

Christ bade him, "Do thou likewise." Wherefore he
Waxed zealous to acquaint
His soul with sin and sorrow, if so be
He might retrieve some latent saint:--
"Lo, I, with the child God hath given to me!"


"Good Friday Evening" by Christina Rossetti
3
GOOD FRIDAY EVENING

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"Bring forth the Spear."

No Cherub's heart or hand for us might ache,
No Seraph's heart of fire had half sufficed:
Thine own were pierced and broken for our sake,
O Jesus Christ.

Therefore we love Thee with our faint good-will,
We crave to love Thee not as heretofore,
To love Thee much, to love Thee more, and still
More and yet more.


"Good Friday Morning" by Christina Rossetti
4
GOOD FRIDAY MORNING

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"Bearing His Cross."

Up Thy Hill of Sorrows
Thou all alone,
Jesus, man's Redeemer,
Climbing to a Throne:
Thro' the world triumphant,
Thro' the Church in pain,
Which think to look upon Thee
No more again.

Upon my hill of sorrows
I, Lord, with Thee,
Cheered, upheld, yea, carried,
If a need should be:
Cheered, upheld, yea, carried,
Never left alone,
Carried in Thy heart of hearts
To a throne.


"Lent" by Christina Rossetti
5
LENT

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

It is good to be last not first,
Pending the present distress;
It is good to hunger and thirst,
So it be for righteousness.
It is good to spend and be spent,
It is good to watch and to pray:
Life and Death make a goodly Lent
So it leads us to Easter Day.


"Mid-Lent" by Christina Rossetti
6
MID-LENT

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Is any grieved or tired? Yea, by God's Will:
Surely God's Will alone is good and best:
O weary man, in weariness take rest,
O hungry man, by hunger feast thy fill.
Discern thy good beneath a mask of ill,
Or build of loneliness thy secret nest:
At noon take heart, being mindful of the west,
At night wake hope, for dawn advances still.
At night wake hope. Poor soul, in such sore need
Of wakening and of girding up anew,
Hast thou that hope which fainting doth pursue?
No saint but hath pursued and hath been faint;
Bid love wake hope, for both thy steps shall speed,
Still faint yet still pursuing, O thou saint.


"Monday in Holy Week" by Christina Rossetti
7
MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"The Voice of my Beloved."

Once I ached for thy dear sake:
Wilt thou cause Me now to ache?
Once I bled for thee in pain:
Wilt thou rend My Heart again?
Crown of thorns and shameful tree,
Bitter death I bore for thee,
Bore My Cross to carry thee,
And wilt thou have nought of Me?


"Our Church Palms are budding willow twigs"
8
OUR CHURCH PALMS ARE BUDDING WILLOW TWIGS

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

While Christ lay dead the widowed world
Wore willow green for hope undone:
Till, when bright Easter dews impearled
The chilly burial earth,
All north and south, all east and west,
Flushed rosy in the arising sun;
Hope laughed, and Faith resumed her rest,
And Love remembered mirth.


"Palm Sunday" by Christina Rossetti
9
PALM SUNDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God."

I lift mine eyes, and see
Thee, tender Lord, in pain upon the tree,
Athirst for my sake and athirst for me.

"Yea, look upon Me there,
Compassed with thorns and bleeding everywhere,
For thy sake bearing all, and glad to bear."

I lift my heart to pray:
Thou Who didst love me all that darkened day,
Wilt Thou not love me to the end alway?

"Yea, thee My wandering sheep,
Yea, thee My scarlet sinner slow to weep,
Come to Me, I will love thee and will keep."

Yet am I racked with fear:
Behold the unending outer darkness drear,
Behold the gulf unbridgeable and near!

"Nay, fix thy heart, thine eyes,
Thy hope upon My boundless sacrifice:
Will I lose lightly one so dear-bought prize?"

Ah, Lord; it is not Thou,
Thou that wilt fail; yet woe is me, for how
Shall I endure who half am failing now?

"Nay, weld thy resolute will
To Mine: glance not aside for good or ill:
I love thee; trust Me still and love Me still."

Yet Thou Thyself hast said,
When Thou shalt sift the living from the dead
Some must depart shamed and uncomforted.

"Judge not before that day:
Trust Me with all thy heart, even tho' I slay:
Trust Me in love, trust on, love on, and pray."


"Passiontide" by Christina Rossetti
0
PASSIONTIDE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

It is the greatness of Thy love, dear Lord, that we would celebrate
With sevenfold powers.
Our love at best is cold and poor, at best unseemly for Thy state,
This best of ours.
Creatures that die, we yet are such as Thine own hands deigned to create:
We frail as flowers,
We bitter bondslaves ransomed at a price incomparably great
To grace Heaven's bowers.

Thou callest: "Come at once"--and still Thou callest us: "Come late, tho' late"--
(The moments fly)--
"Come, every one that thirsteth, come"--"Come prove Me, knocking at My gate"--
(Some souls draw nigh!)--
"Come thou who waiting seekest Me"--"Come thou for whom I seek and wait"--
(Why will we die?)--
"Come and repent: come and amend: come joy the joys unsatiate"--
--(Christ passeth by . . .)--
Lord, pass not by--I come--and I--and I.
Amen.


"Rogationtide" by Christina Rossetti
1
ROGATIONTIDE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Who scatters tares shall reap no wheat,
But go hungry while others eat.

Who sows the wind shall not reap grain;
The sown wind whirleth back again.

What God opens must open be,
Tho' man pile the sand of the sea.

What God shuts is opened no more,
Tho' man weary himself to find the door.


"Trinity Sunday" by Christina Rossetti
2
TRINITY SUNDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

My God, Thyself being Love Thy heart is love,
And love Thy Will and love Thy Word to us,
Whether Thou show us depths calamitous
Or heights and flights of rapturous peace above.
O Christ the Lamb, O Holy Ghost the Dove,
Reveal the Almighty Father unto us;
That we may tread Thy courts felicitous,
Loving Who loves us, for our God is Love.
Lo, if our God be Love thro' heaven's long day,
Love is He thro' our mortal pilgrimage,
Love was He thro' all aeons that are told.
We change, but Thou remainest; for Thine age
Is, Was, and Is to come, nor new nor old;
We change, but Thou remainest; yea and yea!


"Tuesday in Holy Week" by Christina Rossetti
3
TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

By Thy long-drawn anguish to atone,
Jesus Christ, show mercy on Thine own:
Jesus Christ, show mercy and atone
Not for other sake except Thine own.

Thou Who thirsting on the Cross didst see
All mankind and all I love and me,
Still from Heaven look down in love and see
All mankind and all I love and me.


"Wednesday in Holy Week" by Christina Rossetti
4
WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Man's life is death. Yet Christ endured to live,
Preaching and teaching, toiling to and fro,
Few men accepting what He yearned to give,
Few men with eyes to know
His Face, that Face of Love He stooped to show.

Man's death is life. For Christ endured to die
In slow unuttered weariness of pain,
A curse and an astonishment, passed by,
Pointed at, mocked again
By men for whom He shed His Blood--in vain?


"Whitsun Day" by Christina Rossetti
5
WHITSUN DAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"When the Day of Pentecost was fully come."

At sound as of rushing wind, and sight as of fire,
Lo! flesh and blood made spirit and fiery flame,
Ambassadors in Christ's and the Father's Name,
To woo back a world's desire.

These men chose death for their life and shame for their boast,
For fear courage, for doubt intuition of faith,
Chose love that is strong as death and stronger than death
In the power of the Holy Ghost.


"Whitsun Eve" by Christina Rossetti
6
WHITSUN EVE

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

"As many as I love."--Ah, Lord, Who lovest all,
If thus it is with Thee why sit remote above,
Beholding from afar, stumbling and marred and small,
So many Thou dost love?

Whom sin and sorrow make their worn reluctant thrall;
Who fain would flee away but lack the wings of dove;
Who long for love and rest; who look to Thee, and call
To Thee for rest and love.


"Whitsun Tuesday" by Christina Rossetti
7
WHITSUN TUESDAY

BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI

Lord Jesus Christ, our Wisdom and our Rest,
Who wisely dost reveal and wisely hide,
Grant us such grace in wisdom to abide
According to Thy Will whose Will is best.
Contented with Thine uttermost behest,
Too sweet for envy and too high for pride;
All simple-souled, dove-hearted and dove-eyed,
Soft-voiced, and satisfied in humble nest.
Wondering at the bounty of Thy Love
Which gives us wings of silver and of gold;
Wings folded close, yet ready to unfold
When Thou shalt say, "Winter is past and gone:"
When Thou shalt say, "Spouse, sister, love and dove,
Come hither, sit with Me upon My Throne."


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