Friday, October 06, 2006

Micah Made Me Cry Today

Well, technically, my eyes welled up, so I don't know if that qualifies as crying, but he certainly touched my heart. Micah is a friend of mine, and he made me "cry" through a poem he showed me, one that I had never read before. I want to share it with you all.
- - -
The Robe of Christ
by Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

At the foot of the Cross on Calvary
Three soldiers sat and diced,
And one of them was the Devil
And he won the Robe of Christ.

When the Devil comes in his proper form
To the chamber where I dwell,
I know him and make the Sign of the Cross
Which drives him back to Hell.

And when he comes like a friendly man
And puts his hand in mine,
The fervour in his voice is not
From love or joy or wine.

And when he comes like a woman,
With lovely, smiling eyes,
Black dreams float over his golden head
Like a swarm of carrion flies.

Now many a million tortured souls
In his red halls there be:
Why does he spend his subtle craft
In hunting after me?

Kings, queens and crested warriors
Whose memory rings through time,
These are his prey, and what to him
Is this poor man of rhyme,

That he, with such laborious skill,
Should change from role to role,
Should daily act so many a part
To get my little soul?

Oh, he can be the forest,
And he can be the sun,
Or a buttercup, or an hour of rest
When the weary day is done.

I saw him through a thousand veils,
And has not this sufficed?
Now, must I look on the Devil robed
In the radiant Robe of Christ?

He comes, and his face is sad and mild,
With thorns his head is crowned;
There are great bleeding wounds in his feet,
And in each hand a wound.

How can I tell, who am a fool,
If this be Christ or no?
Those bleeding hands outstretched to me!
Those eyes that love me so!

I see the Robe -- I look -- I hope --
I fear -- but there is one
Who will direct my troubled mind;
Christ's Mother knows her Son.

O Mother of Good Counsel, lend
Intelligence to me!
Encompass me with wisdom,
Thou Tower of Ivory!

"This is the Man of Lies," she says,
"Disguised with fearful art:
He has the wounded hands and feet,
But not the wounded heart."

Beside the Cross on Calvary
She watched them as they diced.
She saw the Devil join the game
And win the Robe of Christ.
- - -

Joyce Kilmer, The Robe of Christ, in Regis Martin, Garlands of Grace: An Anthology of Great Christian Poetry, (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 2001) 90-92.


Antonia said...

I am not into poetry that much yet, but this one here touched me. Thanks for posting this; I'll be reading more poems about Christ.

Jen said...

That's beautiful. I have to get that anthology. I must. Wow... I wonderful if they're all that awesome? Probably, if it's from Ignatius Press. Thanks for posting it. said...


Greco25 said...

My heart was touched, my soul was pinched. I'm new to blogging and I'm just finding beautiful sites like yours. I am moved by my collection of "holy cards"...I've posted a few. I never thought poetry would touch me so. Thank you.

Kevin said...

Thanks. I had the same reaction when I saw part of this at the School of Mary blog. It presents our Lady's role quite well.

phatcatholic said...

That's my twin brother's blog :D

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