Sunday, April 06, 2014

Our wordless tearless dumbness of distress

It's been too long, and sometimes you simply need some Christina. So here are a few stanzas from Later Life: A Double Sonnet of Sonnets (the poem featured in my header) that I have not posted before. Oh how I love Christina. Herein lies permission for all our floundering, and a prayer for the way out.

Image from Wikimedia commons.


Thou Who didst make and knowest whereof we are made,
   Oh bear in mind our dust and nothingness,
    Our wordless tearless dumbness of distress:
Bear Thou in mind the burden Thou hast laid
Upon us, and our feebleness unstayed
   Except Thou stay us: for the long long race
   Which stretches far and far before our face
Thou knowest,--remember Thou whereof we are made.
If making makes us Thine, then Thine we are;
   And if redemption, we are twice Thine own:
If once Thou didst come down from heaven afar
      To seek us and to find us, how not save?
Comfort us, save us, leave us not alone,
      Thou Who didst die our death and fill our grave.


So tired am I, so weary of today,
   So unrefreshed from foregone weariness,
   So overburdened by foreseen distress,
So lagging and so stumbling on my way,
I scarce can rouse myself to watch or pray,
    To hope, or aim, or toil for more or less,--
    Ah, always less and less, even while I press
Forward and toil and aim as best I may.
Half-starved of soul and heartsick utterly,
   Yet lift I up my heart and soul and eyes
   (Which fail in looking upward) toward the prize:
Me, Lord, Thou seest though I see not Thee;
  Me now as once the Thief in Paradise,
Even me, O Lord my Lord, remember me.


Lord, Thou Thyself art Love and only Thou;
    Yet I who am not love would fain love Thee;
    But Thou alone being Love canst furnish me
With that same love my heart is craving now.
Allow my plea! for if Thou disallow,
    No second fountain can I find but Thee;
    No second hope or help is left to me,
No second anything, but only Thou.
O Love accept, according my request;
    O Love exhaust, fulfilling my desire:
    Uphold me with the strength that cannot tire,
Nerve me to labor till Thou bid me rest,
    Kindle my fire from Thine unkindled fire,
And charm the willing heart from out my breast.


Chris L said...

title well suited. so true a picture of what our *devotion* to the Lord most often looks like. this is all we seem to be able to bring to him and yet that's ok. thanks for posting.

Ali said...

Glad you appreciated it Chris. Yes, I am a huge fan of CR. Perhaps the "bringing" of it to him is all that is required really ...