All Saints

They have brought gold and spices to my King,
      Incense and precious stuffs and ivory;
O holy Mother mine, what can I bring
      That so my Lord may deign to look on me?
They sing a sweeter song than I can sing,
      All crowned and glorified exceedingly:
I, bound on earth, weep for my trespassing,–
      They sing the song of love in heaven, set free.
Then answered me my Mother, and her voice
      Spake to my heart, yea answered in my heart:
‘Sing, saith He to the heavens, to earth, Rejoice:
Thou also lift thy heart to Him above:
      He seeks not thine, but thee such as thou art,
For lo His banner over thee is Love.’

Christina Georgina Rossetti, 20 January 1852

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One Response to All Saints

  1. Bam! Nice one, isn’t it?

    For those not so familiar with the Old Testament, the last line (which is really the heart of the whole poem) is from the Song of Songs 2.4.

    Another reminiscence of another source: “Thou also lift thy heart to Him above” brings to mind Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας, usually Englished as “Let us lift up our hearts.” This lies at the core of the Divine Liturgy, so ancient a core that it is shared throughout the ancient liturgies still in use today.

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