Friday, 2 March 2012

Friday 2 March

Rather behind time today, I'm afraid. So so'll catch up tomorrow. Meanwhile, here is today's poem, "I Saw Him Standing" translated by Rowan Williams from Yr Arglwydd lesu, a poem by Ann Griffiths (1776— 1805).

Under the dark trees, there he stands,
there he stands; shall he not draw my eyes?
I thought I knew a little
how he compels, beyond all things, but now
he stands there in the shadows. It will be 
Oh, such a daybreak, such bright morning,
when 1 shall wake to see him as he is.

He is called Rose of Sharon, for his skin
is clear; his skin is flushed with blood,
his body lovely and exact; how he compels
beyond ten thousand rivals. There he stands
my friend, the friend of guilt and helplessness,
To steer my hollow body over the sea.

The earth is full of masks and fetishes, 
What is there here for me?Are these like him?
Keep company with him and you will know:
no kin, no likeness to those empty eyes. 
He is a stranger to them all, great Jesus. 
What is there here for me?
I know what I have longed for. Him to hold 
me always.

I didn't realise that Rowan Williams was a Welsh speaker.

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