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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Easter Vigil Poem

One benefit of this Holy Week Poetry project has been learning new poets. Here is one from Gerard Manley Hopkins - a poet recommended to me by my wife. I love his use of language and form - and I love poems that are one, well-knit, tight idea.

If you put Chrysostom's Easter Homily - which I use every year at the Vigil - in a moonshine still and boiled it down for two days, this is what comes out:

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Easter Communion

Pure fasted faces draw unto this feast:
God comes all sweetness to your Lenten lips.
You striped in secret with breath-taking whips,
Those crooked rough-scored chequers may be pieced
To crosses meant for Jesus; you whom the East
With draught of thin and pursuant cold so nips
Breathe Easter now; you serged fellowships,
You vigil-keepers with low flames decreased,

God shall o'er-brim the measures you have spent
With oil of gladness, for sackcloth and frieze
And the ever-fretting shirt of punishment
Give myrrhy-threaded golden folds of ease.
Your scarce-sheathed bones are weary of being bent:
Lo, God shall strengthen all the feeble knees.
Pr. H. R.2 Comments