He went into the Holy Land,
A friar, to atone;
Clad in a cowl, with ashes crowned,
He wandered far alone.
He cast away his shoes that, while
He wanders in the heat,
The stones and thorns upon the road
May freely pierce his feet.
He mortified himself with fasts,
And thirst's most burning pain;
To wrongs he bowed, and yet to wrong
Others he did disdain.
Throughout his weary pilgrimage
Devoutly still he prayed,
Yet from his soul he could not lift
The weight sin there had laid.
From Palestine to Rome he went,
His anguish naught could ease.
Before His Holiness, the Pope,
He fell upon his knees.
"O Holy Father, tell me, pray"---
His tears did freely flow---
"Will Heaven on me for my dark crime
Forgiveness yet bestow?"
Then, tremblingly, he did confess
His crime. The Pope arose,
Stricken with awe; his kindly face
Did anger stern disclose.
His eyes, which ever gleamed with grace,
Then burned with wrath and fire,
And like the thunder of the sky
He spake in deepest ire:---
"Almighty God alone forgives,
Mercy is in His hand!
But not e'en He will overlook
Treason to fatherland!"
From: Eva March Tappan, ed., The World's Story: A History of the World in Story,
Song and Art, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), Vol. VI: Russia, Austria-Hungary,
The Balkan States, and Turkey, pp. 410-411
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by