Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

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 Volume 2.16 This View’s Poetry December 23, 2002 


    Salus Mundi    
         
   

I saw a stable, low and very bare,
      A little child in a manger.
The oxen knew him, had Him in their care,
      To men He was a stranger.
The safety of the world was lying there,
      And the world’s danger.

   
         
    Mary Coleridge (1861-1907)    
    Chapters into Verse: Poetry in English Inspired by the Bible (1993)
Volume Two: Gospels to Revelation, p. 26
ed. Robert Atwan and Laurance Wieder
   

    The Mother of God    
         
   

The three-fold terror of love; a fallen flare
Through the hollow of an ear;
Wings beating about the room;
The terror of all terrors that I bore
The Heavens in my womb.

Had I not found content among the shows
Every common woman knows,
Chimney corner, garden walk,
Or rocky cistern where we tread the clothes
And gather all the talk?

What is this flesh I purchased with my pains,
This fallen star my milk sustains,
This love that makes my heart’s blood stop
Or strikes a sudden chill into my bones
And bids my hair stand up?

   
         
    W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)    
    Collected Works, Volume I: The Poems (1989) # 261
ed. Richard J. Finneran and George Mills Harper
   

    On Christmas-Day    
         
   

Shall Dumpish Melancholy spoil my Joys
                      While Angels sing
                      And Mortals ring
             My Lord and Savior’s Prais!
Awake from Sloth, for that alone destroys,
’Tis Sin defiles, ’tis Sloth puts out thy Joys.
    See how they run from place to place,
    And seek for Ornaments of Grace;
    Their Houses deckt with sprightly Green,
    In Winter makes a Summer seen;
             They Bays and Holly bring
                      As if ’twere Spring!

Shake off thy Sloth, my drouzy Soul, awake;
                      With Angels sing
                      Unto thy King,
             And pleasant Musick make;
Thy Lute, thy Harp, or els thy Heart-strings take,
And with thy Musick let thy Sense awake.
    See how each one the other calls
    To fix his Ivy on the walls,
    Transplanted there it seems to grow
    As if it rooted were below:
             Thus He, who is thy King,
                      Makes Winter, Spring.

Shall Houses clad in Summer-Liveries
                      His Praises sing
                      And laud thy King,
             And wilt not thou arise?
Forsake thy Bed, and grow (my Soul) more wise,
Attire thy self in cheerful Liveries:
    Let pleasant Branches still be seen
    Adorning thee, both quick and green;
    And, which with Glory better suits,
    Be laden all the Year with Fruits;
             Inserted into Him,
                      For ever spring.

’Tis He that Life and Spirit doth infuse:
                      Let ev’ry thing
                      The Praises sing
    Of Christ the King of Jews;
Who makes things green, and with a Spring infuse
A Season which to see it doth not use:
    Old Winter’s Frost and hoary hair,
    With Garland’s crowned, Bays doth wear;
    The nipping Frost of Wrath b’ing gon,
    To Him the Manger made a Throne,
             Du Praises let us sing,
                      Winter and Spring.

See how, their Bodies clad with finer Cloaths,
                      They now begin
                      His Prais to sing
    Who purchas’d their Repose:
Wherby their inward Joy they do disclose;
Their Dress alludes to better Works than those:
    His gayer Weeds and finer Band,
    New Suit and Hat, into his hand
    The Plow-man takes; his neatest Shoos,
    And warmer Glovs, he means to use:
             And shall not I, my King,
                      Thy Praises sing?

See how their Breath doth smoak, and how they haste
                      His Prais to sing
                      With Cherubim;
             They scarce a Break-fast taste;
But throu the Streets, lest precious Time should waste,
When Service doth begin, to Church they haste.
    And shall not I, Lord, com to Thee,
    The Beauty of thy Temple see?
    Thy Name with Joy I will confess,
    Clad in my Savior’s Righteousness;
             ’Mong all thy Servants sing
                      To Thee my King.

’Twas thou that gav’st us Caus for fine Attires;
                      Ev’n thou, O King,
                      As in the Spring,
             Dost warm us with thy fires
Of Lov: Thy Blood hath bought us new Desires;
Thy Righteousness doth cloath with new Attires.
    Made fresh and fine let me appear
    This Day divine, to close the Year;
    Among the rest let me be seen
    A living Branch and always green,
             Think it a pleasant thing
                      Thy Prais to sing.

At break of Day, O how the Bells did ring?
                      To thee, my King,
                      The Bells did ring;
             To thee the Angels sing:
Thy Goodness did produce this other Spring,
For this it is they make the Bells to ring:
    The sounding Bells do throu the Air
    Proclaim thy Welcom far and near;
    While I alone with Thee inherit
    All these Joys, beyond my Merit.
             Who would not always sing
                      To such a King?

I all these Joys, abov my Merit, see
                      By Thee, my King,
                      To whom I sing,
    Entire convey ’d to me.
My Treasure, Lord, thou mak’st thy Peeple be
That I with pleasure might thy Servants see.
    Ev’n in their rude external ways
    They do set forth my Savior’s Prais,
    And minister a Light to me;
    While I by them do hear to Thee
             Praises, my Lord and King,
                      Whole Churches ring.

Hark how remoter Parishes do sound!
                      Far off they ring
                      For thee, my King,
             Ev’n round about the Town:
The Churches scatter’d over all the Ground
Serv for thy Prais, who art with Glory crown’d.
    This City is an Engin great
    That makes my Pleasure more compleat;
    The Sword, the Mace, the Magistrate,
    To honor Thee attend in State;
             The whole Assembly sings;
                      The Minster rings.

   
         
    Thomas Traherne (1637-1674)    
    Poems, Centuries, and Three Thanksgivings (1966) pp. 100ff
ed. Anne Ridler
   

    Joseph    
         
   

If the stars fell; night’s nameless dreams
Of bliss and blasphemy came true,
If skies were green and snow were gold,
And you loved me as I love you;

O long light hands and curled brown hair,
And eyes where sits a naked soul;
Dare I even then draw near and burn
My fingers in the aureole?

Yes, in the one wise foolish hour
God gives this strange strength to a man.
He can demand, though not deserve,
Where ask he cannot, seize he can.

But once the blood’s wild wedding o’er,
Were not dread his, half dark desire,
To see the Christ-child in the cot,
The Virgin Mary by the fire?

   
         
    G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)    
    Collected Poems (1932) pp. 318f    

    Christmas    
         
   

Though crowded be the inn, although God’s son
   Is lying in the hay, my soul may enter.
   There’s need, on man of flesh, of thoughts that centre
On fleshly things today: here cryeth one.

Who’ll cry one day for us, compared to whom
   A queen’s newborn is but a worthless plaything.
   This child in manager will fulfil our waiting
Whenas the times are full and ease our doom.

God resteth in our flesh, here fatherless,
   In heaven motherless. Word co-creative,
   God, Father of the virgin and her native,
Lies in the hay. Rest here and cease thy stress,

My soul, cease rhyming without rhyme or reason.
A mute humility is here in season.

   
         
    Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687)    
    Divine Inspiration: the Life of Jesus in World Poetry (1998) p. 22
ed. Robert Atwan, George Dardess, Peggy Rosenthal
   

    Triad    
         
    From the Silence of Time, Time’s Silence borrow.
In the heart of To-day is the word of To-morrow.
The Builders of Joy are the Children of Sorrow.
   
         
    William Sharp (1856-1902)    
   

Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse p. 400
ed. D. H. S. Nicholson and A. H. E. Lee

   



 Volume 2.16 This View’s Poetry December 23, 2002 





The View from the Core, and all original material, © 2002 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.

Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”