1. With bitter herbs, with wine and bread,
in ancient disciplines,
the doorposts stained again with red,
the Passover begins.
By lamplight at this borrowed board,
this best of all the days,
with quiet voice declare, O Lord,
that one of them betrays.
2. Unspoken questions fill the air
where festal joy had been:
"Could it be I?" the inner fear,
a tense "who can he mean?"
In silence as their questions stop,
Christ speaks at table's head:
"the one with whom I share the sop,
to whom I pass this bread."
3. Above forgotten plate and cup
they wait, they watch you stand;
the simple sop is lifted up,
and passed to Judas' hand.
Tell him to do what must be done,
the silence now is thick,
Christ, send him out in fading sun:
betrayal must be quick.
4. The others cannot quite discern
what passed between the two,
perhaps some detail, small concern,
some errand yet to do;
yet these two know beyond all doubt
that God's will each now calls;
and Judas, bread in hand, goes out,
and as he goes, night falls.