Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

A crimson surcoat aptly suits victorious
kings. This royal victor, as a joke,
is clothed by mocking soldiers in a cloak
that rightly marks him both a prince and glorious.

O precious purple drops, so fill my head
that, as I contemplate your mystery,
you draw a thousand crimson tears from me,
my eyes dyeing these Carmelite robes red.

Your bloody hue attests our sins are tied
to the Lamb’s back by the Father, and Christ takes
our crimes upon his shoulders for our sakes.

O Christ, O holy Lamb, consent to hide
all my red sins (hell’s birch rods) deep within
the bloody folds of the mantle of your skin.