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Angelus Silesius: "The Tree of the Cross"

Monday in Holy Week 2005

The Tree of the Cross

Blest is he that seeketh rest
   In God's pastures green and quiet,
In the shadow of the Cross,
   Far from worldly toil and riot;
He is safe, on holy ground,
Though the tempest rage around.
Sun by day and moon by night
   Shall not there have power to harm him,
Hellish foes with subtle wiles
   Can not there succeed to charm him;
No true ill can him betide
Who beneath the Cross doth bide.
With the fruit that Tree doth bear
   He his hunger keen relieveth,
Closest union with his God
   Through that wondrous food receiveth.
Sweetest fruit, how blest is he
Who doth taste it worthily!
With the dew Christ's Wounds distil
   There his fainting soul he easeth,
Even as the panting hart
   At the brook its thirst appeaseth;
Christ's sweet Blood may well make whole
Every weak and parched soul.
Come, then, to the Cross all ye
   Who do faint beneath your burden;
Rest beneath that Tree, and seek
   There your labor's ample guerdon—
Peace, which nowhere can be found
Save upon that hallow'd ground.
Let me dwell beneath Thy Cross,
   Lord, in life and death, I pray Thee;
Let no hostile powers thence
   Drive me, Lord; do not gainsay me,
Who on earth no comfort own
Save Thy death and Cross alone!

Johann Scheffler a.k.a. Angelus Silesius (1624-1677)
anonymous translation from German

The Catholic Anthology: The World's Great Catholic Poetry (revised edition, 1940), ed. Thomas Walsh and George N. Shuster, pp. 210f.

See also Laurence Housman: "Love, the Tempter" and John Donne: Holy Sonnets VII.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 03/21/05 07:17:08 AM
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