The Following poem was written by a young teenager in my Parish. I published it in our parish newsletter and with his permission , (Please forgive any punctuation or spelling errors as my fault not Philip's) I am posting this poem on the net site for you to enjoy:
A Pascha Poem by Philip Peacock:A Ballad of Shaken Foundations
Somberly erect on Golgotha,
In Israel, yea, Judaea
In a far land past the Roman seas
There stood there tall, three mighty trees.
Three men were dying on those beams
Their flesh was tearing at the seams
Resting they were, on taut shanks
Curled beneath their withered flanks.
Two Roman soldiers stood close by
And a centurion cloaked with scarlet dye
He raised his hand, and soldiers approached
The three condemned, and with strokes
From three, menacing, iron-shod mallets
They broke the legs off their sockets
Of the first and the third crucified.
When the centurion quickly spied
That the second man was now deceased
He checked his soldiers, “This man’s at least
Bore his sentence with no complaint
Now he’s dead. How? Can’t explain
But we’ve done as Governor Pilate spoken
So save his legs from being broken.”
For a maniple of men had come in haste
Their centurion had said, “No time to waste,
The Jewish elders of this city
Fearing hell’s eternal pity
Want the men taken down
Before their Sabbath, out of town.”
A small group of women silently stood
On an adjacent hill, wishing they could
See the body of the Lord
Now descending from blood-stained board.
Yet while he lay on the stony floor
In bodily death he opened the door
And while the body lay in rest
Jesus, fulfilling his Father’s behest
Began the conquest of Hell
And struck the first blow, to the fell
Things that held men caught
With righteous wrath these fiends he sought
He flew down from the rock-hewn tomb
In the fiery brightness of whom
The earth was fashioned and conceived
Who now in holiness was to redeem
The fallen race of mankind,
restoring sight to the blind.
As he descended, darkness did flee
And the foundations of hell were seen
The depths of darkness were made known
And God in his indescribable light shone
grabbed the terrified demons of hell
flinging them down to the fells.
Like rats terrified of flame
They scurried now in demonic shame
In glory Christ came unto the graves
And broke the dusty coffins to staves.
Out tumbled an old man
The fallen father, Adam
He stood there gazing up from his knees
With his mind freed, his spirit at ease.
“The Lord is God,” he spake with husk
“and hast revealed himself unto us.”
Jesus gently grabbed his withered hand
And Adam in the withered span
Of his spiritual body felt life
Then Jesus turned to his wife
And with a kick upon the coffin
He bade the moldy casket open
And gently raised Eve to her feet.
She wept, relishing the sight sweet.
Turning to cavern’s tombs spread
Jesus, in a loud voice said,
“Come take light from the light
that is never overtaken by night.”
At once the coffins brake asunder
Out of the cairns souls rolled in wonder.
Patriarchs, prophets, men of the Lord
The Psalmist rose from his aged board
The forerunner, who for two years had spoken
Tidings of Christ to those unwoken.
Now the congregation of these faithful
Who for ages of time had remained wakeful
Awaiting the coming of salvation,
The mighty slayer of their damnation,
Rejoiced in praises to the Trinity
Out of chains, out of calamity.
“Come take light!” they sang with delight
and praised the Godhead’s boundless might.
For God never wished his creatures to languish
In separation from him, in anguish.
And so came down at our behest
Of Virgin Mary was clothed in flesh.
Born and raised under the law
That by obedience he might save all.
And through divine condescension
He even endured crucifixion.
And resting his body behind the stone
So he could make himself known
To his beloved who had died,
That with them, he would rise
Hell is fallen, Hades is razed.
The heavenly powers are amazed.
Freed, the blessed souls took flight
And sing now in the heavenly heights.
Christ descended to ascend
Keep watch, for he shall come again.
And for all who wish to sit at his right,
“Come ye, receive the light!”
Philip Peacock is a Teen member of St John the Forerunner Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cedar Park, Tx. He is a regular contributor to the Voice in the Wilderness and frequently serves at the Altar as an acolyte/altar boy.