Luke XXIII :: J. L. Borges

Gentile or Hebrew or simply a man
Whose face has now been lost in time;
From oblivion we shall not redeem
The silent letters of his name.

Of clemency he knew no more
Than a robber whom Judea nails
To a cross. The time that went before
We cannot reach. But in his final

Job of dying crucified,
He heard among the jibes of the crowd,
That the fellow dying at his side
Was a god, and so he said to him, blind:

“Remember me when you shall come
Into your kingdom,” and the inconceivable voice
That one day will be judge of all mankind
Made promise, from the terrible Cross,

Of Paradise. And they said nothign more
Until the end came, but the pride
Of history will not let die the memory
Of that afternoon when these two died.

O friends, the innocence of this friend
Of Jesus Christ, this candor which made him
Ask for his Paradise and gain it so,
Even in the shame of punishment,

Is the same that many a time has brought
The sinner to sin — as it chanced, to murder.

[From Dreamtigers, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Harold Morland]

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