Poetry and Hymnody


Hymn Meter Verse


Thy grace Thou dost shine forth, O Lord

Thy grace Thou dost shine forth, O Lord,
Thy people thus to save,
as starlight falls on churning sea,
to light each crashing wave.

The breakers pound against the shore
and rocks are polished smooth,
so Thou dost batter hardened hearts,
their anguish thus to soothe.

For at the edge of boundless sea
the dry land falls away,
so will all darkness from us fall
on Thine eternal day.


Jesus Christ, Our Living Savior

Jesus Christ, Incarnate Godhead,
Entered in this mortal coil,
Left aside His Father’s glory,
For our life of pain and toil.

(Refrain:)
Jesus Christ, our Living Savior,
All Your Church exalts Your Name.
Jesus Christ, God’s Love Incarnate,
Fill our hearts with living flame.

Jesus Christ, the Humble Servant,
Came to call the poor and lost,
Living now in flesh among them,
Counting not His effort’s cost.

Refrain

Jesus Christ, both Priest and Victim,
Gave His flesh our lives to save,
Eternal Love could not be broken,
Even by the cross and grave.

Refrain

Jesus Christ, our Hope Arisen,
Conquered death and dies no more,
Chains of sin are burst asunder,
Open wide is heaven’s door.

Refrain

Jesus Christ, our King Eternal,
Reigning at the Father’s side,
Calling us to share His Glory,
In His Heart our hearts abide.

Refrain


Sonnets


Sonnet 1: The Unrequited Lover

The fruitless lover bears a mighty pain,
Sweetness, the burning sting of treasured fire.
His heart cries out in chorus, dark refrain,
Imprisoned, bound, anonymous desire.
A bursting soul enrapt in throes of passion,
At merest glance or word from his adored,
Does deep in darkness chains of iron he fashion,
With which his heavy heart is tightly moored.
But not alone the weary lover suffers,
For hanging there upon a cursed tree,
Does Love itself in lonely silence offer,
Solace, by which all lovers may be free.
For never be it hidden to this Lover,
The tears suppressed that others do not see.


Sonnet 2: The Fourth Watch

Sing forth O Nightingale, rest not thine eyes!
For hence shall break a far more splendid dawn,
Where freed from gathered shadows dark disguise,
All trace of empty sorrow shall be gone.
A passing cloud obscures the shining moon,
And hides reflected hope of yonder day,
Yet heart faint not! The morn is coming soon,
When brilliant light will melt the clouds away.
For seated now upon his golden throne,
The Son of Morning tends his holy flame,
To set ablaze the souls which are His own,
A herald now of dayspring to proclaim.
From out of darkened shadow to atone,
This fallen world and burn away its shame.


Sonnet #3: Untitled

O futile words that cannot dare convey,
Impassioned pleading of a burning heart,
As quickly as they’re spoken fade away,
Like ghostly shadows, hasten to depart.

Unable to pour forth, the soul concedes,
Attempts at speech like waves on rocky shore,
A moment’s tumult; breaks and then recedes,
Polite, appropriate—and nothing more.

O soul, rest now within the only Word,
That once was spoken ne’er to be recalled,
For to His glorious day it is deferred,
That Love upon its throne shall be installed,
And in His light all ill desire refined,
That hearts in silent rapture be combined.


Sonnet #4: Communio Sanctorum

This holy night, within whose darkness sounds
impassioned song: the nightingale’s refrain,
with angels’ silent voices now resounds
the melody that earth cannot contain.
Now ringing in the tranquil evening air,
a clarion that shatters earthly chains –
it floats beyond the reach of all despair
to pierce the veil of heavenly domains.

This holy ground, upon which lightly tread
the Seraphim, with unseen splendor filled
now hosts the holy ranks of righteous dead
who testify to endless hope fulfilled
and gather with the living to rejoice
all summoned by the nightingale’s voice.


Sonnet #5: On Beauty

O what is beauty? Is it nothing more
than fairness of face and gently flowing hair?
The gilded appearance that covetous eyes adore,
enrapt by illusion, substance never a care?
A passing thing, a trick of blindest fate,
the product of mad eons’ silent flow,
that vainly adorned with fabrics and jewels ornate
is painted and powdered—empty, simply show?

Not so, my heart! You know it is all lies,
and all these things are simply but the frame
for that which shines behind those sparking eyes,
that splendid light: a soul that none can tame!
For even when appearances have died
such glorious light forever shall abide.


Sonnet #6: Dryness

In exile from Thy Just and Burning Throne,
upon parched sand I lay me down to sleep.
The echoes that I hear are just my own:
the painful, muffled sounds of those who weep.
To see the darkness fall in stifling air,
and feel the weight of night upon my skin,
a burden far too great for me to bear:
a broken world of doubt and pain and sin.

Yet faint I see a far off shining light,
a twinkle of imperishable flame,
and muffled sound of footsteps in the night,
approaching as my lips call out Thy Name.
For even blackest night cannot conceal,
that Thou hast heard the cry of my appeal.


Rondeau


Rondeau #1: Unyielding Stone

Unyielding stone that doth enclose
Thy soul’s garden and oppose
The greedy gaze of prying eyes,
Its ramparts as a grey disguise,
To none thy loveliness expose.

But yet the breeze that softly blows,
Reveals the scent of hidden rose,
A songbird’s melody defies
Unyielding stone.

O but to enter and repose,
In meadows where thy jasmine grows,
To lie beneath thy summer skies,
While the daylight slowly dies;
Why must between us interpose
Unyielding stone?


Rondeau #2: A Cheerful Smile

A cheerful smile, a tortured heart,
By grief and worry torn apart.
Countenance can not conceal
The hurt that mournful eyes reveal,
Betraying thus the actor’s art.

The anxious thought: a fiery dart
Repelled so that the tears not start.
Their flow held back by airtight seal:
A cheerful smile.

O’er seas of pain, what course to chart
To make these burning doubts depart?
What fire of hope thy soul anneal
That steadfast like unyielding steel
Through every trial sincere impart
A cheerful smile?


Miscellaneous


The Songbird

As muted notes fall soft and low,
Beneath the winter sky,
A wounded songbird caked with snow:
She sings but cannot fly.

Away to places bright and warm,
Her heart it ventures still,
But bracing for the coming storm,
Saps all her tender will.

O, for that day when sunlight shines,
Again on verdant fields,
That broken heart so deeply pines,
That to its pain she yields.

Fear not the gale, O precious one!
All chill will fade away,
For soon the light of glorious sun,
Will bring a brighter day.

When, in Eternal Springtime’s glow,
The fields with flowers abloom,
Your melody will then ring forth,
Unbound from winter’s gloom.

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