This time of year, I’ve tended to post selections from W.H. Auden’s For the Time Being. This year, I probably won’t, but I discovered this, which must have been part of Auden’s inspiration, via Malcolm Guite:
Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo! faithful Virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He’ll wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death’s force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son, and Brother;
Whom thou conceivest, conceived; yea, thou art now
Thy Maker’s maker, and thy Father’s mother,
Thou hast light in dark, and shutt’st in little room
Immensity, cloister’d in thy dear womb.
It would be more appropriate Liturgically on March 25, but too few know that; they heed poems like this only in Advent.
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