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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 06/20/04 12:04:34 PM

Three by Plunkett III

Three sonnets by Joseph Mary Plunkett.


No hungry star ascendant at my birth
Foretold the famine that consumes my days,
No flaming sword prohibited the ways
Of vision where I parch through beauty's dearth,
Alas! no flower of heaven or of earth
Yields loveliness to fill your meed of praise,
Within my heart no spark divine betrays
The power to tell of your immortal worth.

You say you are unworthy—how can I
Fend from your truth the self-destroying dart?
Within my shield of vision is no part
Of mirrored certitude you can deny;
You are what God has made you—and my heart,
And in this faith at least I'll live and die.

(from "Occulta")

When all the Stars become a Memory

When all the stars become a memory
Hid in the heart of heaven: when the sun
At last is resting from his weary run
Sinking to glorious silence in the sea
Of God's own glory: when the immensity
Of Nature's universe its fate has won
And its reward: when death to death is done
And deathless Being's all that is to be—

Your praise shall 'scape the grinding of the mills:
My songs shall live to drive their blinding cars
Through fiery apocalypse to Heaven's bars!
When God's loosed might the prophet's word fulfils,
My songs shall see the ruin of the hills,
My songs shall sing the dirges of the stars.

(from "Earlier and Later Poems")

The Claim that has the Canker on the Rose

The claim that has the canker on the rose
Is mine on you, man's claim on Paradise
Hopelessly lost that ceaselessly he sighs
And all unmerited God still bestows;
The claim on the invisible wind that blows
The flame of charity to enemies
Not to the deadliest sinner, God denies—
Less claim than this have I on you, God knows.

I cannot ask for any thing from you
Because my pride is eaten up with shame
That you should think my poverty a claim
Upon your charity, knowing it is true
That all the glories formerly I knew
Shone from the cloudy splendour of your name.

(from "Earlier and Later Poems")

The Poems of Joseph Mary Plunkett (1916), pp. 38, 69, 73. The book is on line here.

See also Three by Plunkett II: Three poems by Joseph Mary Plunkett.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 06/20/04 12:04:34 PM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.


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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”