THE VIRGIN MARY TO CHRIST ON THE CROSS.
By Robert Southwell

What mist hath dimm’d that glorious face?
What seas of grief my sun doth toss?
The golden rays of heavenly grace
Lies now eclipsèd on the cross.

Jesus, my love, my Son, my God,
Behold Thy mother wash’d in tears:
Thy bloody wounds be made a rod
To chasten these my later years.

You cruel Jews, come work your ire
Upon this worthless flesh of mine,
And kindle not eternal fire
By wounding Him who is divine.

Thou messenger that didst impart
His first descent into my womb,
Come help me now to cleave my heart,
That there I may my Son entomb.

You angels, all that present were
To show His birth with harmony,
Why are you not now ready here,
To make a mourning symphony?

The cause I know you wail alone,
And shed your tears in secrecy,
Lest I should movèd be to moan,
By force of heavy company.

But wail, my soul, thy comfort dies,
My woful womb, lament thy fruit;
My heart give tears unto mine eyes,
Let sorrow string my heavy lute.

Sunday is the Feast day of Saint Robert Southwell; he was martyred on February 20,1595.  According to Wikipedia, “Having been dragged through the streets on a sled, he stood in the cart beneath the gibbet and made the sign of the cross with his pinioned hands before reciting a Bible passage from Romans xiv. The sheriff made to interrupt him; but he was allowed to address the people at some length, confessing that he was a Jesuit priest and praying for the salvation of Queen and country. As the cart was drawn away, he commended his soul to God with the words of the psalm in manus tuas. He hung in the noose for a brief time, making the sign of the cross as best he could. As the executioner made to cut him down, in preparation for bowelling him while still alive, Lord Mountjoy and some other onlookers tugged at his legs to hasten his death. His lifeless body was then bowelled and quartered. As his severed head was displayed to the crowd, no one shouted the traditional “Traitor!”

I was going to say more about the saints and their amazing deeds (not the New Orleans Saints, though they were pretty amazing too!), but it will have to wait until later, as I’m currently at work and need to…Well, I need to get to work! More later.

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~ by keystone28 on 02/19/2010.

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