Tag Archives: poetry

I am the Great Sun

I am the Great Sun

(from a Normandy crucifix of 1632)


I am the great sun, but you do not see me,

I am your husband, but you turn away.

I am the captive, but you do not free me,

I am the captain you will not obey.


I am the truth, but you will not believe me,

I am the city where you will not stay.

I am your wife, your child, but you will leave me,

I am that God to whom you will not pray.


I am your counsel, but you do not hear me,

I am the lover whom you will betray.

I am the victor, but you will not cheer me,

I am the holy dove whom you will slay.


I am your life, but you will not name me,

Seal up your soul with tears, and never blame me.


Charles Causely


Charles Causley.jpgCharles Causley was born and has lived, apart from six years in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, in Launceston, Cornwall. In 1990 he was awarded the Ingersol/TS Eliot Award, given to authors “of abiding importance whose work affirms the moral principles of western civilization.” This poem appears in Collected Poems, published by Macmillan. Dr. Ron Thomas assistant professor of theology at Belmont Abbey College wrote the meditations for the Way of the Cross published this Spring (2009) and this poem is included therein.

The Lent Lily

‘Tis spring; come out to ramble

The hilly brakes around,

For under thorn and bramble

About the hollow ground

The primroses are found.


And there’s the windflower chilly

Lent lily.jpgWith all the winds at play,

And there’s the Lenten lily

That has not long to stay

And dies on Easter day.


And since till girls go maying

You find the primrose still,

And find the windflower playing

With every wind at will,

But not the daffodil,


Bring baskets now, and sally

Upon the spring’s array,

And bear from hill and valley

The daffodil away

That dies on Easter day.


A.E. Housman (1859-1936)


In the Saint Francis garden particularly, but around Belmont Abbey College campus generally, the daffodil, which blooms in Lent, is decorating the landscape. Signs of spring are here which makes one leap for joy. The Housman poem gives voice to the unfolding beauty at this time of year (at least in the south).

A Christmas Carol

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
Nativity Angelico.jpgHis hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.) 

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.



Yesterday, with exultation: In honor of Saint Stephen

Yesterday, with exultation,
Join’d the world in celebration
Of her promised Saviour’s birth;
Yesterday the Angel-nation
Pour’d the strains of jubilation
O’er the Monarch born on earth;


But today o’er death victorious,
By his faith and actions glorious,
by his miracles renown’d,
See the Deacon triumph gaining,
‘Midst the faithless faith sustaining,
First of holy Martyrs found.

Thumbnail image for St Stephen.jpg 

Onward, champion, falter never,
Sure of sure reward for ever,
Holy Stephen, persevere;
Perjured witnesses confounding,
Satan’s synagogue astounding
By thy doctrine true and clear.


Thine own Witness is in Heaven,
True and faithful, to thee given,
Witness of thy blamelessness:
By thy name a crown implying,
Meet it is thou shouldst be dying
For the crown of righteousness.


For the crown that fadeth never
Bear the torturer’s brief endeavour;
Victory waits to end the strife:
Death shall be thy life’s beginning,
And life’s losing be the winning
Of the true and better life.


Fill’d with God’s most Holy Spirit,
See the Heav’n thou shalt inherit,
Stephen, gaze into the skies:
There God’s glory steadfast viewing,
Thence thy victor-strength renewing,
Pant for thy eternal prize.


See, as Jewish foes invade thee,
See how Jesus stands to aid thee,
Stands at God’s right hand on high:
Tell how open’d Heav’n is shown thee,
Tell how Jesus waits to own thee,
Tell it with thy latest cry.


As the dying martyr kneeleth,
For his murderers he appealeth,
For their madness griefing sore;
Then in Christ he sleepeth sweetly,
And with Christ he reigneth meetly,
Martyr first-fruits, evermore.



Words: “Heri mundus exultavit,” Adam of S. Victor (d. 1192). Translation by John Mason Neale; Music: “Heri Mundus Exultavit,” by Walter Macfarren; Meter: 887 887. Hymns Ancient and Modern. London: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd., 1922, #64, p. 64-5.


nativity Giotto detail.jpgImmensity cloistered in thy dear womb, Now leaves His well-belov’d imprisonment, There He hath made Himself to His intent Weak enough, now into the world to come; But O, for thee, for Him, hath the inn no room? Yet lay Him in this stall, and from the Orient, Stars and wise men will travel to prevent; The effect of Herod’s jealous general doom.

Seest thou, my soul, with thy faith’s eyes, how He which fills all place, yet none holds Him, doth lie? Was not His pity towards thee wondrous high, That would have need to be pitied by thee?


Kiss Him, and with Him into Egypt go, With His kind mother, who partakes thy woe.


John Donne (1572- 1631)


About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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