Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Song / Francis Sherman

Easter Song

Maidens, awake! For Christ is born again!
And let your feet disdain
The paths whereby of late they have been led.
Now Death itself is dead,
And Love hath birth,
And all things mournful find no place on earth.

This morn ye all must go another way
Than ye went yesterday.
Not with sad faces shall ye silent go
Where He hath suffered so;
But where there be
Full many flowers shall ye wend joyfully.

Moreover, too, ye must be clad in white,
As if the ended night
Were but your bridal-morn’s foreshadowing.
And ye must also sing
In angel-wise:
So shall ye be most worthy in His eyes.

Maidens, arise! I know where many flowers
Have grown these many hours
To make more perfect this glad Easter-day;
Where tall white lilies sway
On slender stem,
Waiting for you to come and garner them;

Where banks of mayflowers are, all pink and white,
Which will Him well delight;
And yellow buttercups, and growing grass
Through which the Spring winds pass;
And mosses wet,
Well strown with many a new-born violet.

All these and every other flower are here.
Will ye not draw anear
And gather them for Him, and in His name,
Whom all men now proclaim
Their living King?
Behold how all these wait your harvesting!

Moreover, see the darkness of His house!
Think ye that He allows
Such glory of glad color and perfume,
But to destroy the gloom
That hath held fast
His altar-place these many days gone past?

For this alone these blossoms had their birth,―
To show His perfect worth!
Therefore, O Maidens, ye must go apace
To that strange garden-place
And gather all
These living flowers for His high festival. [page 39]

For now hath come the long-desirèd day,
Wherein Love hath full sway!
Open the gates, O ye who guard His home,
His handmaidens are come!
Open them wide,
That all may enter in this Easter-tide!

Then, maidens, come, with song and lute-playing,
And all your wild flowers bring
And strew them on His altar; while the sun ―
Seeing what hath been done ―
Shines strong once more,
Knowing that Death hath Christ for conqueror.

Francis Sherman (1871-1926)
from Matins, 1896

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

Francis Sherman biography

No comments:

Post a Comment