Dante Gabriel Rossetti ‘The Passover in the Holy Family’, 1856
Rossetti, The Passover in the Holy Family (1856, Tate)

Here meet together the prefiguring day
And day prefigured. “Eating, thou shalt stand,
Feet shod, loins girt, thy road-staff in thine hand,
With blood-stained door and lintel,” – did God say
By Moses” mouth in ages passed away.
And now, where this poor household doth comprise
At Paschal-Feast two kindred families,
Lo! the slain lamb confronts the Lamb to slay.

The pyre is piled. What agony’s crown attained,
What shadow of Death the Boy’s fair brow subdues
Who holds that blood wherewith the porch is stained
By Zachary the priest? John binds the shoes
He deemed himself not worthy to unloose;
And Mary culls the bitter herbs ordained.

by Rossetti, first published in Poems in 1870.

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