Poetry

Lectionary Poetry – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost (Year C)

With the dawn of a new church year, we have launched a new feature on our website, a weekly post of poetry that resonates with the lectionary readings for that week.

 
 

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

 
 

CLASSIC POEM:

I know you not
Christina Rossetti

O Christ, the Vine with living Fruit,
The twelvefold-fruited Tree of Life,
The Balm in Gilead after strife,
The valley Lily and the Rose;
Stronger than Lebanon, Thou Root;
Sweeter than clustered grapes, Thou Vine;
O Best, Thou Vineyard of red wine,
Keeping thy best wine till the close.

Pearl of great price Thyself alone,
And ruddier than the ruby Thou;
Most precious lightning Jasper stone,
Head of the corner spurned before:
Fair Gate of pearl, Thyself the Door;
Clear golden Street, Thyself the Way;
By Thee we journey toward Thee now,
Through Thee shall enter Heaven one day.

I thirst for Thee, full fount and flood;
My heart calls Thine, as deep to deep:
Dost Thou forget Thy sweat and pain,
They provocation on the Cross?
Heart-pierced for me, vouchsafe to keep
The purchase of Thy lavished Blood:
The gain is Thine, Lord, if I gain;
Or if I lose, Thine own the loss.

At midnight (saith the Parable)
A cry was made, the Bridegroom came;
Those who were ready entered in:
The rest, shut out in death and shame,
Strove all too late that Feast to win,
Their die was cast, and fixed their lot;
A gulf divided Heaven from Hell;
The Bridegroom said—I know you not.

But Who is this that shuts the door,
And saith—I know you not—to them?
I see the wounded hands and side,
The brow thorn-tortured long ago:
Yea; This Who grieved and bled and died,
This same is He Who must condemn;
He called, but they refused to know;
So now He hears their cry no more.

*** This poem is in the public domain,
and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.
 
 

CONTEMPORARY POEM:

Destinations
Anthony Hecht

SNIPPET:

The children having grown up and moved away,
One day she announced in brisk and scathing terms
That since for lo, as she said, these many years
She had thanklessly worked her fingers to the bone,

[ READ THE FULL POEM ]

 
 

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