Pauline Johnson: “I do not feel the thorns so much today…”


Pauline Johnson (“Tekahionwake”)

(Ontario Mohawk poet, 1861-1913)

“Brier: Good Friday”



Because, dear Christ, your tender, wounded arm

Bends back the brier that edges life’s long way,

That no hurt comes to heart, to soul no harm,

I do not feel the thorns so much today.


Because I never knew your care to tire,

Your hand to weary guiding me aright,

Because you walk before and crush the brier,

It does not pierce my feet so much tonight.


Because so often you have hearkened to

My selfish prayers, I ask but one thing now,

That these harsh hands of mine add not unto

The crown of thorns upon your bleeding brow.