[CS-FSLUG] OT: A poem for Christmas reflection

Michael Bradley, Jr. michaelsbradleyjr at gmail.com
Fri Dec 23 21:56:17 CST 2005

                                                            JMJ + OBT

I wanted to share with the members of this list one of my favorite poems,
which the author composed as a reflection upon the mystery of the
Incarnation, which, after all, "is the reason for the season."


When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven -- and saw the earth.

Or shutting out his shining skies awhile
Built you about him for a house of gold
To see in pictured walls his storied world
Return upon him as a tale is told.

Or found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house
God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.

Star of his morning; that unfallen star
In that strange starry overturn of space
When earth and sky changed places for an hour
And heaven looked upwards in a human face.

Or young on your strong knees and lifted up
Wisdom cried out, whose voice is in the street,
And more than twilight of twiformed cherubim
Made of his throne indeed a mercy-seat.

Or risen from play at your pale raiment's hem
God, grown adventurous from all time's repose,
Of your tall body climbed the ivory tower
And kissed upon your mouth the mystic rose.

-- G.K.Chesterton

taken from a collection of poems he once published under the title "Queen of
the Seven Swords".

One note -- something that also helped me to understand the poem --
Chesterton had in a mind a tender scene wherein the Virgin Mary is cuddling
and playing with the Christ Child (that much is clear). The stanza that
contains the line "God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night" can seem
a bit of a puzzle, but the author has in mind something rather beatiful and
sublime (see the next stanza):  the Christ Child, held in His mother's arms,
sees the reflection -- literal, physical -- of himself in his mother's eyes.

In Christ,

Michael Bradley, Jr.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life . . ." (John 14:6)

My home on the Net ::

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