Sunday, October 10, 2010

"with the thanksgiving breath"

O cry created as the bow of sin
Is drawn across our trembling violin.
O weep, child, weep, O weep away the stain.
O law drummed out by hearts against the still
Long winter of our intellectual will.
That what has been may never be again.
O flute that throbs with the thanksgiving breath
Of convalescents on the shores of death.
O bless the freedom that you never chose.
O trumpets that unguarded children blow
About the fortress of their inner foe.
O wear your tribulation like a rose.

This was a verse I heard sung on Friday.  It is from a work by Benjamin Britten entitled Hymn to St. Cecilia, and the words are by British poet W. H. Auden.   It speaks of that which is beautiful, sorrowful, fragile and strong, intangible and yet resonate.  It is poignant in its understanding of fallen humanity.  This theme is one common in the arts, and one we would do well to grasp.  Or perhaps we all grasp as much of it as we can handle at a given time, and that is enough.  For do you not think that in understanding the sorrow of man we can better grasp the depths of the love of God?

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