“Santa Maria degli Angeli”
[ Tribute to St. Francis,
Found in St. Francis (Christian Encounter Series)
By Robert West ]
How spacious, brother Francis, and how high
Is this fair dome of il Vignola spread
Above the spot where thou in agony
Layed’st naked with crossed arms, the earth thy bed!
Tis hot July: and o’er the plain, long wed
To labour, floats the love-song. Would that I
Caught in the Umbrian song thy accent sped,
Thy face reflected in the Umbrian sky!
And where the mountain-village stands outlined
‘Gainst heav’n, a mild, lone radiance o’er thee poured,
As from thy Paradise that openeth,
Would I could see thee — arms outstretched and mind
Intent on God — singing: “Praised be the Lord
For the death of the body, our dear sister Death.”
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
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