Who put the roses on the Cross?

He saw raised up majestically the sign

That brings hope and comfort to all human souls,

The sign to which many thousand hearts ardently confess –

The sign that overcame the power of bitter death

Fluttering in so many victorious flags:

A refreshing stream filled his heavy limbs

He saw the Cross and dropped his eyes.

He felt again the salvation that sprang from thence,

He felt the faith of half the earth;

But, as he saw the image before his eye,

He felt himself inspired by new, unknown meaning –

The Cross stood densely hung about with roses!

Who added  the roses to the Cross?

The garland of roses swelled, spread on all sides

To surround the hard wood with softness.

Light, silvery clouds soared,

Rose upward with Cross and roses,

And from the centre sprang holy life –

A threefold ray from a single point.

But not a word surrounded the image

To give the mystery sense and clarity.

In the gathering dusk growing grey and greyer,

The pilgrim stood, pondered, and felt himself raised up.

Goethe, The Mysteries

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