Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mary Tired / Marjorie Pickthall

Mary Tired

Through the starred Judean night
She went, in travail of the Light.
With the earliest hush she saw
God beside her in the straw.

One poor taper glimmered clear,
Drowsing Joseph nodded near.
All the glooms were rosed with wings.
She that knew the Spirit’s kiss
Wearied of the bright abyss.
She was tired of heavenly things.
There between the day and night
These she counted for delight:

Baby kids that butted hard
In the shadowy stable yard;
Silken doves that dipped and preened
Where the crumbling well-curb greened;
Sparrows in the vine, and small
Sapphired flies upon the wall,
So lovely they seemed musical.

In the roof a swift had built.
All the new-born airs were spilt
Out of cups the morning made
Of a glory and a shade.
These her solemn eyelids felt
While unseen the seraphs knelt.
Then a young mouse, sleek and bold,
Rustling in the winnowed gold,
To her shadow crept, and curled
Near the Ransom of the World.

Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922)
from The Woodcarver's Wife, and later poems, 1922

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Marjorie Pickthall biography

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