Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.@Luke 23:43

Thomas A. Lacey, in the Treasury, 1905.

Old 124th Genevan Psalter, 1551 (🔊 pdf nwc).

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Thomas A. Lacey (1853-1931)

The dying robber raised his aching brow
To claim the dying Lord for company;
And heard, in answer to his trembling bow,
The promise of the King: Thou—even thou—
Today shalt be in paradise with Me.

We, too, the measure of our guilt confess,
Knowing Thy mercy, Lord, our only plea;
That we, like him, through judgment and distress,
For all the weight of our unworthiness
May win our way to paradise with Thee.

But so bewildered is our failing heart,
So dim the luster of Thy royalty,
We hardly know Thee, Lord, for what Thou art,
Till we begin to take the better part
And lose ourselves in paradise with Thee.

Then lift our eyes, dear Lord, from this poor dross,
To see Thee reigning in humility,
The King of love; that, wresting gain from loss,
We, too, may climb the ladder of the cross,
To find our home in paradise with Thee.

The Thief on the Cross

Three crosses rose on Calvary against the iron sky
Each with its living burden, each with its human cry.
And all the ages watched there, and there were you and I.

One bore the God incarnate, reviled by man’s disdain,
Who through the woe He suffered for our eternal gain,
With joy of infinite loving assuaged His infinite pain.

On one the thief repentant conquered his cruel doom,
Who called at last on Christ and saw His glory through the gloom.
For him after the torment, souls of the blest made room.

And one the unrepentant bore, who his harsh fate defied.
To him, the child of darkness, all mercy was denied;
Nailed by his brothers on the cross, he cursed his God and died.

Ah, Christ, who met in Paradise him who had eyes to see,
Didst Thou not greet the other in hell’s black agony?
And if he knew Thy face, Lord, what did he say to Thee?

Harriet Monroe, You and I, 1914