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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Bird Legends

There are a couple Easter legends and stories involving birds. Unhappily, sparrows betrayed the location of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane by flying straight towards him, while swallows supposedly tried to lead his enemies away with irregular flights.

But here's my favorite about the crossbills, said to have tried to pry the nails from the hands of Jesus on the cross, and their red plumage derives from getting blood soaked in the process. image:wikipedia

The Legend of the Crossbill

by Julius Mosen
translated from the German by Longfellow

ON the cross the dying Saviour
Heavenward lifts his eyelids calm
Feels but scarcely feels a trembling
In his pierced and bleeding palm

And by all the world forsaken
Sees he how with zealous care
At the ruthless nail of iron
A little bird is striving there

Stained with blood and never tiring
With its beak it doth not cease
From the cross t would free the Saviour
Its Creator's Son release

And the Saviour speaks in mildness
Blest be thou of all the good
Bear as token of this moment
Marks of blood and holy rood

And that bird is called the crossbill
Covered all with blood so clear
In the groves of pine it singeth
Songs like legends strange to hear

Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Happy Easter, everyone!

2 comments:

PA-Birder said...

I handn't seen this before, thanks for sharing it. Being a Pastor this might come in handy some Easter Morn.
Vern

Jonathan said...

This is wonderful, thanks very much for sharing it!

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