Archive for ‘Religious’

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Advent Days by Kate Seymour MacLean

The centuries grow old; one after one
The circle rounds into the perfect orb,
Forging the silver links that backward run
Along the twilight slopes of hoary time,
(Which the past darkness cannot quite absorb).
To that first day of Eden’s rosy prime,
When stars and seraphs, and the crystal spheres,
In the pure ether turning, sang the world’s first morn.
In music still the slow-revolving years
Turn in their silver chain, unheard of men,
Bringing the birthday of the world again, —
Bringing the infant Christ which should be born.

Once more bright angels gather in the sky,
And the dull ear of night awakes to hear
The far-off sound of heavenly pinions furled,
And glad hosannas singing sweet and clear —
Peace, peace on Earth— glory to God on high,
In the new birth-song of the ransomed world.
O day sublime to which all other days
Flow down convergent since earth’s days begun,
And all their separate and scattered rays,
Down the vast space, unmeasured of the sun —
The twilight of the ages— merge in one,
To kindle in these later alien skies
The white lamp of that earlier paradise!

From: MacLean, Kate Seymour, Advent Days and Poems of Remembrance, 1902, The Jackson Press: Kingston, p. [unnumbered].
(https://archive.org/details/adventdayspoemso00macl/)

Date: 1902

By: Kate Seymour MacLean (1829-1916)

Thursday, 25 November 2021

The Fulness of Time by James Stephens

On a rusty iron throne
Past the furthest star of space
I saw Satan sit alone,
Old and haggard was his face;
For his work was done and he
Rested in eternity.

And to him from out the sun
Came his father and his friend
Saying, now the work is done
Enmity is at an end:
And he guided Satan to
Paradises that he knew.

Gabriel without a frown,
Uriel without a spear,
Raphael came singing down
Welcoming their ancient peer,
And they seated him beside
One who had been crucified.

From: Stephens, James, The Hill of Vision, 1912, Maunsel and Company: Dublin, p. 30.
(https://archive.org/details/hillvision00stepgoog/)

Date: 1912

By: James Stephens (1880-1950)

Sunday, 20 June 2021

Solstice by Col M.

I trace my trail on Winter’s frosted glass,
The long beach dull save where the shallows shine;
The wind finds voices in the withered grass,
And where the waves die winter’s eyes meet mine.
Bleak and inhuman, glittering from a mask.
And all this world lies crushed in winter’s hand,
The shells like fallen stars in seaweed’s dusk,
The sodden driftwood sinking in the sand,
The grey horizon melting in the night.
The fingers of the waves slip from my own,
Sand stings, and storm-clouds roll and spill their light;
Their thunder drums me home. And now, alone,
Winter resumes its mask to hide its hate,
While ghosts of summer flicker in my grate.

N.S.W.

From: Col M., ‘Solstice’ in The Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 3624 (27 July 1949), p. 10.
(https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-551135576/view?partId=nla.obj-551137089#page/n9/mode/1up)

Date: 1949

By: Col M. (fl. 1949)

Friday, 5 March 2021

Why I Am Not a Buddhist by Charles Bernstein

Reality cons me as it spur(n)s me.
This is the road to eternal
Consanguinity, eloping with
Hope and leaving me to pick
Up the proverbial bag.
But that’s the argument for.

From: https://poets.org/poem/why-i-am-not-buddhist

Date: 2013

By: Charles Bernstein (1950- )

Saturday, 26 December 2020

Suburban Sonnet: Boxing Day by Gwendoline (Gwen) Nessie Foster Harwood (Miriam Stone)

Gold, silver, pink and blue, the globes distort her,
framed in the doorway: woman with a broom.
Wrappings and toys lie scattered round the room.
A glossy magazine the children bought her
lies open: ‘How to keep your husband’s love’.
She stands and stares, as if in recollection,
at her own staring acid-pink reflection.
The simple fact is, she’s too tired to move.

O where’s the demon lover, the wild boy
who kissed the future to her flesh beneath
what skies, what stars, what space! and swore to love her
through hell’s own fires? A child stretches above her
and, laughing, crowns her with a tinsel wreath.
She gathers up a new, dismembered toy.

From: https://taughtalesson.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/gwen-harwoods-sonnets-love-and-romance-anything-but/

Date: 1965

By: Gwendoline (Gwen) Nessie Foster Harwood (Miriam Stone) (1920-1995)

Friday, 25 December 2020

Christmas Comes Again by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard

Let me be merry now, ’t is time;
The season is at hand
For Christmas rhyme and Christmas chime,
Close up, and form the band.

The winter fires still burn as bright,
The lamp-light is as clear,
And since the dead are out of sight,
What hinders Christmas cheer?

Why think or speak of that abyss
In which lies all my Past?
High festival I need not miss,
While song and jest shall last.

We’ll clink and drink on Christmas Eve,
Our ghosts can feel no wrong;
They revelled ere they took their leave—
Hearken, my Soldier’s Song:

“The morning air doth coldly pass,
Comrades, to the saddle spring;
The night more bitter cold will bring
Ere dying—ere dying.
Sweetheart, come, the parting glass;
Glass and sabre, clash, clash, clash,
Ere dying—ere dying.
Stirrup-cup and stirrup-kiss—
Do you hope the foe we’ll miss,
Sweetheart, for this loving kiss,
Ere dying—ere dying?”

The feasts and revels of the year
Do ghosts remember long?
Even in memory come they here?
Listen, my Sailor’s song:

“O my hearties. yo heave ho!
Anchor’s up in Jolly Bay—
Hey!
Pipes and swipes, hob and nob—
Hey!
Mermaid Bess and Dolphin Meg,
Paddle over Jolly Bay—
Hey!
Tars, haul in for Christmas Day,
For round the ’varsal deep we go;
Never church, never bell,
For to tell
Of Christmas Day.
Yo heave ho, my hearties O!
Haul in, mates, here we lay—
Hey!”

His sword is rusting in its sheath,
His flag furled on the wall;
We’ll twine them with a holly-wreath,
With green leaves cover all.

So clink and drink when falls the eve;
But, comrades, hide from me
Their graves—I would not see them heave
Beside me, like the sea.

Let not my brothers come again,
As men dead in their prime;
Then hold my hands, forget my pain,
And strike the Christmas chime.

From: https://poets.org/poem/christmas-comes-again

Date: 1895

By: Elizabeth Drew Stoddard (1823-1902)

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Old Santeclaus with Much Delight by Anonymous

Old SANTECLAUS with much delight
His reindeer drives this frosty night,
O’r chimney tops, and tracts of snow,
To bring his yearly gifts to you.

The steady friend of virtuous youth,
The friend of duty, and of truth,
Each Christmas eve he joys to come
Where peace and love have made their home.

Through many houses he has been,
And various beds and stockings seen;
Some, white as snow, and neatly mended,
Others, that seemed for pigs intended.

To some I gave a pretty doll,
To some a peg-top, or a ball;
No crackers, cannons, squibs, or rockets,
To blow their eyes up, or their pockets.

Where e’re I found good girls or boys,
That hated quarrels, strife and noise,
I left an apple, or a tart,
Or wooden gun, or painted cart;

No drums to stun their Mother’s ear,
Nor swords to make their sisters fear;
But pretty books to store their mind
With knowledge of each various kind.

But where I found the children naughty,
In manners crude, in temper haughty,
Thankless to parents, liars, swearers,
Boxers, or cheats, or base tale-bearers,

I left a long, black, birchen rod,
Such as the dread command of GOD
Directs a Parent’s hand to use
When virtue’s path his sons refuse.

From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Santeclaus_with_Much_Delight

Date: 1821

By: Anonymous

Monday, 21 December 2020

A Winter Solstice Prayer by Edward Hays

The dark shadow of space leans over us…
We are mindful that the darkness of greed, exploitation, and hatred
also lengthens its shadow over our small planet Earth.
As our ancestors feared death and evil and all the dark powers of winter,
we fear that the darkness of war, discrimination, and selfishness
may doom us and our planet to an eternal winter.

May we find hope in the lights we have kindled on this sacred night,
hope in one another and in all who form the web-work of peace and justice
that spans the world.

In the heart of every person on this Earth
burns the spark of luminous goodness;
in no heart is there total darkness.
May we who have celebrated this winter solstice,
by our lives and service, by our prayers and love,
call forth from one another the light and the love
that is hidden in every heart.
Amen.

From: https://bookriot.com/winter-poems/

Date: 1989

By: Edward Hays (1931-2016)

Saturday, 5 December 2020

The Goblins’ Christmas by M. Elizabeth Anderson

The big bright Moon hung high and round,
In a densely darkened sky;
The tall pines swayed, and mocked, and groaned;
The mountains grew so high
That the Man-in-the-Moon came out and said,
“Ho! Spooks, for a merry dance.”
The winds blow hard, the caverns roar,
While o’er the earth they prance.

A Witch and a Goblin led the sprites;
Out from the sky they sprung;
And down the milky way they slid,
And over a chasm swung.
The streams around ran witches’ broth,
The fumes were strong and rank.
These Elfin creatures all were wroth,
While of the stuff they drank.

The cunning Moon looked on and laughed
With a shrill and sneering jibe;
Her soul grew fat to see them chaffed,
This mad and elfish tribe.
The big black caldron boiled so high
With food for these queer mites,
That it lit the world throughout the sky,
And down came all the Sprites.

Their mad career upset a star,
As through the air they flew:
It cringed in fear, and shot afar,
And fell where no one knew.
Orion’s sword was broke in bits,
Corona’s crown was gone,
Capella seemed to lose her wits,
While all so longed for dawn.

Then from the night there came a sound
Of sleigh-bells ringing sweet;
Out of the chaos came a man—
Kris Kringle–for his Christmas treat.
“Ho! Kris!” they cried, “We’ll have some fun,
We’ll bind the old man down,
We’ll tie him up, and toss him o’er
Into our Goblin-town.”

They climbed the sleigh with shout and din,
To bind his hands and feet;
A hundred strong they clambered in
Our good old Kris to meet.
He sat quite still, with twinkling eyes,
Then seized his mystic wand,
He raised it up, and waved it round
Stilled was this chattering band.

Stiffly stark and still they stood,
Clad in elfish clothes;
Some were wax, and some were wood,
One had crushed his nose.
“Playthings rare,” he said and smiled,
“For children rich and poor;
Some I’ll leave the crippled child,
And some at the orphan’s door.”

He shook his reins, and called his steed
To bear him swiftly on.
Full well it knew its Master’s need
To hurry e’er the dawn.
From house to house they scampered down,
Their sleigh-bells ringing clear,
Through chimneys in the sleepy town—
Good Kris and his reindeer.

The windows rattled, the moonbeams tattled
A tale so strange and queer.
They told how at night, in dire affright
The Moon had hid in fear.

That he’d called in sport his elfish court
Of spooks and witches gay,
Each Elfin child, by glee beguiled,
Brought scores of others, they say.

Then a man appeared, with flowing beard,
In a sled with a reindeer fleet;
They gathered about with din and shout,
To bind him hands and feet.

Then the Moon laughed loud at the gathering crowd,
While he held his sides in mirth,
To see old Kris in a plight like this,
Toiling o’er the earth.

But alas for the Moon, he had laughed like a loon,
For Kris is a hero of old,
Yes, Kris is a seer; with his small reindeer,
He captured the Goblins bold.

And he changed them, they say in a wonderful way,
To toys, for his Christmas cheer.
The big dolls stare with a goblin air,
The small ones cringe with fear.

While the moonbeams prattle, I hear a rattle
Of hoofs on the chimney side;
Then out on the snow I gaze below,
“Hurrah! it’s Kris Kringle,” I cried.

Then, sly as a mouse, he entered the house,
And hung up his treasures so gay.
Then out with a dash, he sped like a flash,
Into the night, and away.

From: http://www.public-domain-poetry.com/elizabeth-anderson/goblins-christmas-12797

Date: 1908

By: M. Elizabeth Anderson (fl. 1908)

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Adult Advent Announcement by David Asbury Redding

O Lord,
Let Advent begin again
In us,
Not merely in commercials;
For that first Christmas was not
Simply for children,
But for the
Wise and the strong.
It was
Crowded around that cradle,
With kings kneeling.
Speak to us
Who seek an adult seat this year.
Help us to realize,
As we fill stockings,
Christmas is mainly
For the old folks —
Bent backs
And tired eyes
Need relief and light
A little more.
No wonder
It was grown-ups
Who were the first
To notice
Such a star.

From: https://www.journeywithjesus.net/poemsandprayers/677-david-a-redding-adult-advent-announcement

Date: 1965

By: David Asbury Redding (1929-2013 )