Wednesday, June 28, 2006

That Host upraised against the Sky

"One word whispered, strange, across the night,
Deeper than any wireless message thrilled
The soundless voice of Aquin, one deep chord
Sustaining that light song with undertones
Profound as death, in the innermost heart of the world:
Visus, tactus, gustus, in te fallitur.
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur."

"Time and Space
Dissolved... Two thousand years ago, this Act,
Two Thousand Years ago, this Act,
On earth (and in the heavens, before all worlds);
Foreshadowed His own passion to create,
Life that might share His own on high at last,
And, by His own transfiguring entrance here,
Ennoble the dark Nature He had made,
Stooping to Man, that men might raise to God.
There, as that Host, upraised against the sky,
Bowed every head, I saw ten thousend shrines,
Ten thousand altars, in the self-same Act
Made one, and shadowing forth that Act in heaven
Before which all those heavenly armies kneel...
All these and more made one by that one sign,
One thin white disk upraised against the sky,
There, in one strict concentring point at last,
Closed all the thoughts and aims of earth and heaven,
Shone the one signal that could never change,
The ultimate sea-mark of our voyaging souls.
Behind that Act, two thousand years ago
On earth, and in the heavens before all worlds,
Stood, and for ever stands, the eternal Christ,
Whose Presence is not separate from His Act,
Because in Him, Substance and Will are one,
Breaking that Bread whereof His Body was made,
In union and communion with man's own;
A sacramental sign, earth's common Bread,
Bread of a thousand grains, compact in one,
To feed that flesh wherewith the soul of Christ,
Was clothed on earth, as man's own soul is clothed;
And, as the living soul of man on earth
Is here and now incorporate into Christ,
Becomes His Body anew.
Time, Space dissolved."

Alfred Noyes

To Mother Mary whom with many names we name

She will not weary of your harmonies,
The Gentle Mother: for her memories
Are full of ancient melodies,
Raised in the fashion of old Israel,
Beside the cold rock well:
Under the glow of calm and splendid skies;
Jesus upon her breast,
Fronting the shadowy land, the solemn west.
Ah, Mother! whom with many names we name,
By lore of love, which is our earthly tongue,
Is all too poor, though rich love's heart of flame,
To sing thee as thou art, nor leave unsung
The greatest of the graces thou hast won,
Thy chiefest excellence!
Ivory Tower! Star of the Morning! Rose
Mystical! Tower of David, our Defence!
To thee our music flows,
Who makest music for us to thy Son."

Lionel Johnson (1867-1902)