Good Friday 2007
The Annuntiation and Pafsion
Tamely, fraile body'abftaine to day; to day
My foule eates twice, Chrift hither and away.
She fees him man, fo like God made in this,
That of them both a circle embleme is,
Whofe firft and laft concurre; this doubtfull day
Of feaft or faft, Chrift came, and went away.
Shee fees him nothing twice at once, who'is all;
Shee fees a Cedar plant it felfe, and fall,
Her Maker put to making, and the head
Of life, at once, not yet alive, yet dead;
She fees at once the virgin mother ftay
Recluf'd at home, Publique at Golgotha;
Sad and rejoyc'd fhee's feen at once, and feen
At almoft fiftie, and at fcarce fifteene.
At once a Sonne is promif'd her, and gone,
Gabriell gives Chrift to her, He her to John;
Not fully a mother, Shee's in Orbitie,
At once receiver and the legacie.
All this, and all betweene, this day hath fhowne,
Th'Abridgement of Chrifts ftory, which makes one
(As in plaine Maps, the furtheft Weft is Eaft)
Of the'Angels Ave,'and Consummatum eft.
How well the Church, Gods Court of faculties
Deales, in fome times, and feldome joyning thefe!
As by the felfe-fix'd Pole wee never doe
Direct our courfe, but the next ftarre thereto,
Which fhowes where the'other is, and which we fay
(Because it ftrayes not farre) doth never ftray;
So God by his Church, neereft to him, wee know,
And ftand firme, if wee by her motion goe;
His Spirit, as his fiery Pillar doth
Leade, and his Church, as cloud; to one end both:
This Church, by letting thofe daies joyne, hath fhown
Death and conception in mankinde is one.
Or 'twas in him the fame humility,
That he would be a man, and leave to be:
Or as creation he hath made, as God,
With the laft judgement, but one period,
His imitating Spoufe would joyne in one
Manhoods extremes: He fhall come, he is gone:
Or as though one blood drop, which thence did fall,
Accepted, would have ferv'd, he yet fhed all;
So though the leaft of his paines, deeds, or words,
Would bufie a life, fhe all this day affords;
This treafure then, in groffe, my Soule uplay,
And in my life retaile it every day.
Poems (1633), first page, second page.
(See also modernized.)
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I saw the Son of God go by
Crowned with the crown of Thorn.
"Was It not finished, Lord?" I said,
"And all the anguish borne?"
He turned on me His awful eyes:
"Hast thou not understood?
Lo! Every soul is Calvary,
And every sin a Rood."
Rachel Annand Taylor (b. 1876)
The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse (1917), ed. D. H. S. Nicholson and A. H. E. Lee, p. 547.
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I See His Blood Upon the Rose
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
Joseph Mary Plunkett
Poems (1916), ed. Geraldine Plunkett, p. 50.
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Love's as Warm as Tears
Love's as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.
Love's as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts—infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.
Love's as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering "Dare! Dare!"
To sap, to blood,
Telling "Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best."
Love's as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.
Poems (1964), ed. Walter Hooper, pp. 123f.
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Holy Sonnets XIII
What if this present were the worlds last night?
Marke in my heart, O Soule, where thou dost dwell,
The picture of Christ crucified, and tell
Whether that countenance can thee affright,
Teares in his eyes quench the amasing light,
Blood fills his frownes, which from his pierc'd head fell.
And can that tongue adjudge thee unto hell,
Which pray'd forgivenesse for his foes fierce spight?
No, no; but as in my idolatrie
I said to all my profane mistresses,
Beauty, of pitty, foulnesse onely is
A signe of rigour: so I say to thee,
To wicked spirits are horrid shapes assign'd,
This beauteous forme assumes a pitious minde.
The Complete English Poems (1985), ed. C. A. Patrides, pp. 442ff.
(See also modernized.)
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Fri. 04/06/07 07:53:15 PM
Categorized as Literary & Religious.