THE PASSION AND MOURNING
Combining the texts of
The Enuma Elish and The Gospels
And there followed a great multitude of people
and of women who bewailed and lamented him
They pressed close around him
They pinioned him by the arms
And covered his face with a mask of agony
Plaiting a crown of thorns, they put it on him
They slashed his thighs with knives
Pierced his side with a spear,
And at once there came out blood and water.
He held up his hands to the sun in heaven
And they crucified him
Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour.
There was darkness over all the land
And about the ninth hour, he cried with a loud voice
The shepherd's heart was full, out in the barren land
He wept, and then, yielded up his spirit.
And behold, the curtain of the temple tore in two
And the earth shook, and the rocks were split,
A tall tree overturned, alone in the wood,
Water was spilled, tipped from its stand
The churn fell, the crook was lost,
And, with broken forelegs, the ram pawed at the ground.
Now, only the wind will play the shepherd's pipe.
There were many women there, looking on from afar,
Among them, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother, and Salome
Who is your sister? I am she. Who is your mother? I am she.
Mary Magdalene stood weeping. Woman, why are you weeping?
Because they have taken away my Lord. Hark the piping!
My heart is piping in the wilderness, an instrument of grief
He is dead and has left me, my husband!
She gazed at her brother, then tore her cheeks,
She lacerated her mouth, ripped up her dress for agony,
And let out a loud cry of desolation.
There can be no answer to her desolate calling
It is echoed in the wilderness.
Though the grass will shoot from the land,
I am not grass, I cannot come to her calling.
Though the waters will rise for her,
I am not water to come for her wailing,
I am not shoots of grass in a dead land.
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,
It remains alone, a single reed, standing alone.
But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer
And on the third day rise from the dead