"Send out Your light and Your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling." Psalm 43:3

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Verse inspired by 'O Oriens'

O Morning Star,
splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

A poem for Advent.  More specifically, a poem inspired by the "O Antiphon" for 21 December, O Oriens (O Rising Sun, or Morning Star).  The O Antiphons will be familiar to anyone who has heard or sung the well known Advent hymn O Come, O Come Emmanuel, which is a musical setting of the antiphons, to be sung at evening prayer in the final week before Christmas.  The antiphons have a treasured and ancient history in the liturgy of the Church, about which more can be read here. 

I sat waiting in the darkness
For the sun to rise, bringing light
And warmth to cracked and bloody hands,
Grey eyes, and a body listless.
The darkness stretched onward, this night,
The longest, and cold.  Restless bands
Of wand'rers, shuffling in the gloom,
Muffled voices and stamping feet;
We all with frosty, bated breath.

The sun that rose did not rout death;
A winter sun of light, not heat.
I heard one, though, who cried, "Make room!"
A voice that spoke of another
Dawn, this one from on high, to break
Upon us, to scatter and draw;
A God who waits within a womb,
Descends to rise from out the tomb.

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