Today marks the anniversary of the death of French poet Paul Verlaine (d. 1896)…
In honor of the occasion, we offer this poem:
via Project Gutenberg
“SON, THOU MUST LOVE ME!
SEE–” MY SAVIOUR SAID
“Son, thou must love me! See–” my Saviour said,
“My heart that glows and bleeds, my wounded side,
My hurt feet that the Magdalene, wet-eyed,
Clasps kneeling, and my tortured arms outspread
“To bear thy sins. Look on the cross, stained red!
The nails, the sponge, that, all, thy soul shall guide
To love on earth where flesh thrones in its pride,
My Body and Blood alone, thy Wine and Bread.
“Have I not loved thee even unto death,
O brother mine, son in the Holy Ghost?
Have I not suffered, as was writ I must,
“And with thine agony sobbed out my breath?
Hath not thy nightly sweat bedewed my brow,
O lamentable friend that seek’st me now?”
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com