Two quite different pieces of poetry and a painting to contemplate
In My Beginning, My End
even at that moment
as you entered the world you had made
a shadow of the death to come.
As your young lungs gasped for air
that so also would be your last breath
struggling for life in a suffocating body.
And in that cry-
for all babies cry when they leave the security of their mother’s womb-
an echo of another
as you were
by your Father
to a cruel world’s murderous intent.
when they laid you in a borrowed manger
swaddled, as in grave cloth
did your yet unfocused eyes
see the myrrh
lying on the stable floor.
From the Dream of the Rood
” ……I saw the Lord of Hosts
Outstretched in agony, darkness had covered with clouds
the corpse of the world’s ruler
the bright day was darkened by a deep shadow
all its colours clouded; all creation wept
keened for its King’s fall; Christ was on the rood.”
The Dream of the Rood is one of the earliest Christian poems and in the genre of dream poetry. Rood is from the Old English word rod ‘pole’, or more specifically ‘crucifix’. A part of The Dream of the Rood can be found on the 8th century Ruthwell Cross.
In My Beginning anon
Christ on the Cross 1632 Diego Velazquez