LAMENTATION

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Lamentation
Where, O my Lamb, have they taken Thee away?
Whence this sword of sorrow which is plunged into my heart?
Simeon the Righteous, is today the awful day,
Which you foretold that bygone morn ere God bade you depart?
Emmanuel, Emmanuel! How has this come to pass,
That Thou, my Child, art God with us, Thine eyes yet closed in death?
But yesterday they hailed their King, triumphant on an ass;
Today their Victim lifeless hangs, my Heartbeat without breath.
Away from me, O sun and moon! Your light I cannot bear;
Behold the face of your Creator, bruised and drained of light.
A mother broken-hearted in the night of her despair,
I see the Lamb my breasts have suckled crushed by Hades’ might.
Your trembling hand an angel stayed, thrice-blessèd Abraham;
Down from those heights rang shouts of laughter—Lo, a father’s son!
Tho’ on that mount the Lord Himself supplied the spotless ram,
Here from a mother’s arms He wrests her sweet Unblemished One.
But for your greeting long ago, Archangel Gabriel,
A virgin girl had never known the blest fruit of her womb;
Her tranquil soul had grief and anguish never come to fill;
Nor turned her girlhood smile into a faded, crumpled bloom.
Nicodemus, noble Joseph, let Him down from there,
Into the arms of this most barren daughter born of men.
Upon His face my teardrops fall. I kiss His matted hair;
In His unhearing ear I whisper: Wilt Thou rise again?
An Unworthy Priest
1999
See also Exultation.

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  1. Pingback: EXULTATION | ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE

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