Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21: O ORIENS, O RISING DAWN





O come, thou Daystar seen on high,
With healing for our hearts draw nigh;
Do thou the mists of night dispel,
And death's foreboding darkness quell.

Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel
Is born to save thee, Israel.

Tr. Ronald A. Knox


Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights, 
Skies, and be perfect! Fly, vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors, 
And disappear. 
You moon, be slow to go down, 
This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence 
Towards the four parts of the starry universe. 
Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintry earth. 
We have become more humble than the rocks, 
More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent, 
holy spheres, 
While minds, as meek as beasts, 
Stay close at home in the sweet hay; 
And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.

Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all our 
solemn valleys, 
You skies: and travel like the gentle Virgin, 
Toward the planets' stately setting,

Oh white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!

Thomas Merton
Abbey of Gethsemani, 1946


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