Thursday, June 2, 2011

Happy Ascension Day!

Here’s something by John Donne (1572-1631).

                        Ascention.

        Salute the last and everlasting day,
        Joy at the uprising of the Sunne, and Sonne,
        Yee whose just teares, or tribulation
        Have purely washt, or burnt your drossie clay;
        Behold the Highest, parting hence away,
        Lightens the darke clouds, which hee treads upon,
        Nor doth hee by ascending, show alone,
        But first hee, and hee first enters the way.
        O strong Ramme, which hast batter’d heaven for mee,
        Mild lambe, which with thy blood, hast mark’d the path;
        Bright torch, which shin’st, that I the way may see,
        Oh, with thy owne blood quench thy owne just wrath,
        And if thy holy Spirit, my Muse did raise,
        Deigne at my hands this crown of prayer and praise.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~


This poem is the last in a cycle of seven sonnets on the life of Christ. In each sonnet, the last line is the first line of the next in the cycle, so in this one, the last line, “Deigne at my hands this crown of prayer and praise” is the first line of the first sonnet in the cycle. I’ll try to remember to post all seven of them over the course of seven days next April for National Poetry Month.

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