Lays of the Cross: Charles Washington Baird

One of the great Huguenot historians, Charles Washington Baird, like so many of our Presbyterian ministers, was also a poet. Posthumously published, his Lays of the Cross constitute a series of seven poems relating to Christ on the cross, followed by one additional poem titled “Domine, Quo Vadis?” These are found in the Memorials of the Rev. Charles W. Baird, D.D. (1888). Take time to peruse his poetry because he used his gifts to point his readers to the cross. One sample:


I saw the Lord with painful steps and slow
To Calvary’s height His weary course begin;
His bending shoulders bore the Cross of sin;
His fainting spirit carried all our woe;
I saw the priests in cruel triumph go;
The careless soldiers hemmed their prisoner in,
Whose pallid brow, whose visage marred and thin,
The curious crowds with sorrowing pity know.
”My suffering Lord!” with trembling voice I cried,
When first that wounded form I chanced to see:
”To me, to me, Thy shameful load confide;
Be mine the bliss to bear the Cross for Thee!”
”Nay, zealous child,” my gracious Lord replied,
”Bear thou thy cross, and come and follow Me.”