In archaic stones, imposing structure,
A simple soul lived under
The mantle of artists great,
Close to Mother's Heart.
Out the door this simple heart
With stringed instrument did depart
From the convent walls,
On her way to choir loft.
At the transept, on bended knee*
A child waited prayerfully.
Innocent and unseeing,
Her red dress like a warning sign.
Small feet guided upon the steps,
Closer to the Divine Princeps.**
Above the shrinking pews below
The simple soul set her.
Reverent chords began to sing,
Clear voices hallowing
The beauty of Eternal Paradox,
Joy of all who sorrow.
And while the strains of hymns were raising,
The last lights of day were gazing
Upon the roads and fields,
And into windowed sanctuaries.
Tallow candles lit by a weathered hand, then
The child, with all sweetness did demand
To see the famous lamp -
The bright, faithful, sanctuary lamp.***
The coifed silhouette bent down low
To whisper what the heavens know.
And in the child's sightless eyes
The wonder of prophet's past appeared .
No miracle to cause her sight,
No awful flash of light,
Only a sweet knowing
A gentle understanding.
For sight and touch will both deceive -
Only hearing can conceive.*+
The child's eyes now see
The Glory beyond the veil.
* a transept is the area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform ("cross-shaped") building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture. Wiki it if you are still confused.
** Princeps: (plural: principes) is a Latin word meaning "first in time or order; the first, chief, the most eminent, distinguished, or noble; the first man, first person"
*** a sanctuary lamp is either an oil lamp or a candle that hangs over (or before) the tabernacle in Catholic Churches as a sign that the Blessed Sacrament is present in the tabernacle.
+* The first two lines of the last stanza are taken (unabashedly stolen) from St. Thomas Aquinas' Adoro Te Devote, which can be read <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adoro_te_devote">here</a>. I steal from the best. ;)
Note from the author: This was written recently for a poetry prompt that I did with a few friends. It's been so long since I've written any poetry, I was absolutely flabbergasted when I discovered that I could still rhyme. There are a lot of things wrong with this poem, but I'm pretty darn pleased with myself that I finished it. My main annoyance is that I became so enchanted with the picture I was creating, that I forgot to add some important aspect of the message that I was trying to make. My one comfort is that there is a lot of symbolism in the poem that delights me, even if they it is not all that visible to anybody else. Anyway, for a first try, I'm pretty happy with it.