When he [Jesus] was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Matthew 27:12

He answered not a word.The venomed sneersAnd passion-flamed invective echoed roundThe sullen gray Praetorium, with the soundOf evil's seven thunders, and with jeersHalf-muttered, half-suppressed, exultantlyRavening, impatient for the captured prey.Then—sudden stillness.Did the court obey The mandate of his silent majesty—Or did it poise to rend the frail defenseWith brutish scorn? His purpose it forgot:To treasure wisdom's pearls and cast them notIn muddied paths of blind malevolence.And so he made no answer.Was there noneTo see the myriad advocates of goodLeap to his aid, replying as he stoodUnmoved? Lips muted, thought could still outrunThe swiftest calumny. The living Word,Declared in silence, spurned the perjuryOf twisted thought. Love's calm epitome(Father, forgive them!) testified unheardBy hatred's counsel. Angel legions, borneOn wings of justice, compassed with clear lightThe silent prisoner, whose transcending sightForesaw the victory of Easter morn.

Lord, when Thy wisdom's "Peace, be still," ordainsMy tongue to silence, let me span with power,Through thought's pure dialectic, evil's hourOf seeming turbulence. So may the strainsOf Love's great song of peace and victoryTouch with assurance my attunèd ear;So may Thy waiting majesty appear,My sight be stayed on changeless harmony.

November 10, 1956

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