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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 12/14/04 07:54:54 AM

San Juan de la Cruz III

Priest and doctor of the Church.

Today the Roman Church celebrates the feastday of St. John of the Cross, friar, reformer, theologian — and poet.

Of the Incarnation

Now as the season approached
(the date love specified)
for the ransom paid in full,
the shackles struck from the bride

who was forfeit under the law
law-giver Moses made,
the father with melting heart
after this fashion said:

My son, I have found you a bride
of your very sort, you'll find.
You will have good cause to know
you are two of a noble kind,

differing only in flesh
(what are you but a child of sky?).
But the course of true love hints
here is a law will apply:

lovers long to become
as identical as they may;
for the more the two are one,
gayer the gala day.

Delight and love in the bride
speedily would increase
(no question here, my son)
if she saw you a man of flesh.

I have no will but yours,
the son to the father replied.
My glory is all in this:
I do, and you decide.

It couldn't be other than just
I follow as you provide.
How better let all men see
your charity far and wide?

How better blazon your might,
sweet reason and deep mind?
I'll carry word to the world,
news of a novel kind:
news of beauty and peace,
of sovereignty unconfined.

I go to be close to the bride
and to take on my back (for it's strong)
the weight of the wearisome toil
that bent the poor back for so long.

To make certain-sure of her life
I'll manfully die in her place,
and drawing her safe from the pit
present her alive to your face.

St. John of the Cross
Poems (3rd edition) pp. 69ff
tr. John Frederick Nims

See also these.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Tue. 12/14/04 07:54:54 AM
Categorized as Literary & Religious.


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