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Father Ryan's Poems (26)

2006-09-08 16:13

    Feast of the Sacred Heart

    Two lights on a lowly altar; Two snowy cloths for a Feast; Two vases of dying roses; The morning comes from the east, With a gleam for the folds of the vestments And a grace for the face of the priest.

    The sound of a low, sweet whisper Floats over a little bread, And trembles around a chalice, And the priest bows down his head! O'er a sign of white on the altar —— In the cup —— o'er a sign of red.

    As red as the red of roses, As white as the white of snows! But the red is a red of a surface Beneath which a God's blood flows; And the white is the white of a sunlight Within which a God's flesh glows.

    Ah! words of the olden Thursday! Ye come from the far-away! Ye bring us the Friday's victim In His own love's olden way; In the hand of the priest at the altar His Heart finds a home each day.

    The sight of a Host uplifted! The silver-sound of a bell! The gleam of a golden chalice. Be glad, sad heart! 'tis well; He made, and He keeps love's promise, With thee all days to dwell.

    From his hand to his lips that tremble, From his lips to his heart a-thrill, Goes the little Host on its love-path, Still doing the Father's will; And over the rim of the chalice The blood flows forth to fill

    The heart of the man anointed With the waves of a wondrous grace; A silence falls on the altar —— An awe on each bended face —— For the Heart that bled on Calvary Still beats in the holy place.

    The priest comes down to the railing Where brows are bowed in prayer; In the tender clasp of his fingers A Host lies pure and fair, And the hearts of Christ and the Christian Meet there —— and only there!

    Oh! love that is deep and deathless! Oh! faith that is strong and grand! Oh! hope that will shine forever, O'er the wastes of a weary land! Christ's Heart finds an earthly heaven In the palm of the priest's pure hand. v

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