Arise my body, my small body, we have striven
Enough, and He is merciful; we are forgiven.
Arise small body, puppet-like and pale, and go,
White as the bed-clothes into bed, and cold as snow,
Undress with small, cold fingers and put out the light,
And be alone, hush’d mortal, in the sacred night,
-A meadow whipt flat with the rain, a cup
Emptied and clean, a garment washed and folded up,
Faded in colour, thinned almost to raggedness
By dirt and by the washing of that dirtiness.
Be not too quickly warm again. Lie cold; consent
To weariness’ and pardon’s watery element.
Drink up the bitter water, breathe the chilly death;
Soon enough comes the riot of our blood and breath.
At the First Amen
The Word became flesh
To conquer death
Hallelujah and Amen
At the Last Amen
His final breath, exhaled
God’s Truth, unveiled
Hallelujah and Amen
The lamb though slain
Now stands to reign
Hallelujah and Amen
You say grace before meals.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.
The following is a poem written by J.R.R. Tolkien for his work Lord of the Rings.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
“Let each do well what each knows best, Nothing refuse and nothing shirk, Since none is master of the rest, But all are servants of the work –
“The work no master may subject
Save He to whom the whole is known,
Being Himself the Architect,
The Craftsman and the Corner-stone.
“Then, when the greatest and the least
Have finished all their labouring
And sit together at the feast,
You shall behold a wonder thing:
“The Maker of the men that make
Will stoop between the cherubim,
The towel and the basin take,
And serve the servants who serve Him.”
The Architect and Craftsman both
Agreed, the Stone had spoken well;
Bound them to service by an oath
And each to his own labor fell.
This is the final segment of the poem “The Makers” written by Dorothy Sayers and published in 1943 with her play “The Man Born To Be King.” I will post a stylized pdf of the poem in its entirety next week.
“Account me, then, the master man, Laying my rigid rule upon The plan, and that which serves the plan –The uncomplaining, helpless stone.”
The Stone made answer: “Masters mine,
Know this: that I can bless or damn
The thing that both of you design
By being but the thing I am;
“For I am granite and not gold.
For I am marble and not clay,
You may not hammer me nor mold –
I am the master of the way.
“Yet once that mastery bestowed
Then I will suffer patiently
The cleaving steel, the crushing load,
That make a calvary of me;
“And you may carve me with your hand
To arch and buttress, roof and wall,
Until the dream rise up and stand –
Serve but the stone, the stone serves all.”
If you have not read the first part of the poem you can do so here. This is a dedicatory poem by Dorothy Sayers published in 1943 with her play “The Man Born To Be King.” I will post the remaining lines of the poem tomorrow.
Dorothy Sayers was one of the first female graduates from Oxford University and a member of the renown Inklings.
Sayers is the author of the play “The Man Born to be King” that aired on the BBC in the early 1940s. Additionally, she published a dedicatory poem to introduce the play in its written form.
The poem “The Makers” is a conversation between an architect, a craftsman and stone. In its entirety it is a reminder that God is the ultimate author of art and creativity. This is the first segment of the poem, which I have entitled The Maker of the Men That Make, taken from a line from the latter part of the piece. I will publish the rest of the poem this week.
The Architect stood forth and said:
“I am the master of the art:
I have a thought within my head,
I have a dream within my heart.
“Come now, good craftsman, ply your trade
With tool and stone obediently;
Behold the plan that I have made –
I am the master; serve you me.”
The Craftsman answered: “Sir, I will;
Yet look to it that this your draft
Be of a sort to serve my skill –
You are not master of the craft.
“It is by me the towers grow tall,
I lay the course, I shape and hew;
You make a little inky scrawl,
And that is all that you can do.
Many philosophers, believers and non believers alike, recognize the impossibility of an objective basis for meaning apart from the existence of God.
The great painter Michelangelo Buonarroti illustrates this in his poem A Prayer for Strength (below). While Michelangelo is best remembered for his famous painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; he was also a talented poet. His poetry, like his painting, told the redemptive narrative of Scripture.
Burdened with years and full of sinfulness,
With evil custom grown inveterate,
Both deaths I dread that close before me wait,
Yet feed my heart on poisonous thoughts no less.
No strength I find in mine own feebleness
To change or life or love or use or fate,
Unless Thy heavenly guidance come, though late,
Which only helps and stays our nothingness.
‘Tis not enough, dear Lord, to make me yearn
For that celestial home, where yet my soul
May be new made, and not, as erst, of nought:
Nay, ere Thou strip her mortal vestment, turn
My steps toward the steep ascent, that whole
And pure before Thy face she may be brought.
The Divine Word
“And of his fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; Grace and truth was realized through Jesus Christ.”
-The Apostle John
The Living Word, come down to earth
In chords of grace & truth
A child is born of virgin birth
And here, his life gives proof:
That God is just and wholly love,
His grace is truly free.
His heart sent down from above
From Bethlehem to Calvary.
Our hope is found and gained in Him,
He was bruised for us and for our sin,
And of his loss we sing.
But it is his life that conquers all,
Death has lost its sting.
Our hearts still weary from the fall,
Now of his love we sing.
From the first Noel to Easter morn,
Of this we have believed:
Our hope secured, we’ve been reborn
His life we have received.