Thursday, March 5, 2015

In the House of the Dead

(Inspired, I believe, by a scene in George MacDonald's Lilith, if I recall aright.)

I saw, as it were, a table
laid sumptuous with meat and wine,
to slither over teeth
and out and down
another crimson stain upon the floor.
Every place had its setting
of silver unmarred,
bright at end of meal as before
use betrayed alone by clicking grasp.
The beds are turned, downy with dust,
for bones are cold always,
what warmth here to retain?
It is cold,
and cut crystal dazzles moonlight argent on the scene
of the feast of the dead.

Can these bones live?
Nay, rather, can they rest?
for their deeds follow after,
and finery is futile in the face of decay
where famine follows hard on feast
and hunger gnaws the bones.

An Experiment in Trochaic Tetrameter about Redemption

Shall the God who gave his Son-love,
To the men who rudely cursed Him,
Not redeem those in the blood-wash,
Neither bring them in the curtain?
Yea, that God so high-exalted,
On His holy throne in heaven,
Looking down on Adam's guilt-heirs,
Showers down His mighty pity,
Spoils the kingdom of the rebel,
Leads on high the promised captives,
Leads them to His banquet-table,
Lays them wine and bread for supper,
Blood and flesh of Christ the Victor!
He who sits at table, honored,
At the head of heavens table,
Feasts His children-brothers, shows them
All the wounds of love that bought them,
Feet and hands and side-of-belly,
Marks that love endured with honor,
Marks that blaze the trail to heaven,
Show the pilgrim what it cost Him,
What it cost the noble Jesus,
What it took to pay the blood-price,
Satisfy the Father's honor,
Quench the fires of justice kindled,
Forging saints of wretched sinners,
Working what His will desired,
Working all His will-of-Glory.

Hail the Father, hail the Savior!
Hail the Spirit free-out-pouring!
Walk the path He sets before us,
For it leads us on to Glory.