April 17, 2007

The Brave Athlete

Upon what day or in what place did fall
Most famous Adam, or outstretched his hand
Rashly to touch the tree, on that same day,
Returning as the years revolve, within
The stadium of the "tree" the brave Athlete,
'Countering, outstretched His hands, and, penalty
For praise pursuing, quite did vanquish death,
Because He left death of His own accord
Behind, disrobing Him of fleshly slough,
And of death's dues; and to the "tree" affixed
The serpent's spoil--"the world's prince" vanquisht quite!--
Grand trophy of the renegades: for sign
Whereof had Moses hung the snake, that all,
Who had by many serpents stricken been,
Might gaze upon the dragon's self, and see
Him vanquisht and transfixt.

-Five Books in Reply to Marcion (Author Uncertain)
Ante-Nicene Fathers, IV:149

3 comments:

Eric said...

Oh, that's nice.

Christopher Esget said...

Isn't it though? And it goes on and on like that.

Kristina said...

Have you ever read "The Dream of the Rood"? It's a Middle English poem a lot like this one.