Simon of Cyrene
There is no mark of course, but I have felt
Here on my shoulder to this very day
The grinding weight where that rough timber lay
And left, an hour or two, its burning welt.
I had no thought, no patriotic zeal,
That morning there a hero's part to play;
Only, I saw his eyes which, as he lay
Down in the dust, held mine in mute appeal.
"A curse on you, Roman dogs," I cried,
And never felt the lash the soldier swung;
Then we went together side by side,
My back bent double as we climbed the hill
To Calvary where on the cross he hung;
And I am proud to say I feel its burden still.
(adapted, from Wadsworth)