Saturday, October 21, 2006

La Salette: A Poem by Thomas Merton (1946).

La Salette

It is a hundred years since your shy feet Ventured to stand upon the pasture grass of the high Alps,
Coming no deeper in our smoky atmosphere Than these blue skies,

the mountain eyes Of the two shepherd children, young as flowers,
Born to be dazzled by no mortal snow.
Lady, it is a hundred years Since those fair, terrible tears Reproved,

with their amazing grief All the proud candor of those altitudes:
Crowning the flowers at your feet With diamonds, that seized upon,
transfigured into nails of light The rays of the mountain sun!-
And by their news, (Which came with cowbells to the evening village And to the world with church-bells After not too many days,)

And by their news We thought the walls of all hard hearts Had broken down,
and given in, Poured out their dirty garrisons of sin,
And washed the streets with our own blood, if need be - - Only to have them clean!
And though we did not understand The weight and import of so great a sorrow,

We never thought so soon to have seen The loss of its undying memory,
Passing from the black world without a word, Without a funeral!
For while our teeth were battling in the meat of miracles and favors,
Your words, your prophecies, were all forgotten!
Now, one by one, The things you said Have come to be fulfilled.
John, in the might of his Apocalypse, could not fore- tell

Half of the story of our monstrous century, In which the arm of your inexorable Son,
Bound, by His Truth, to disavow your intercession For this wolf-world, this craven zoo,
Has bombed the doors of hell clean off their hinges, And burst the cage of antichrist,
And roused, with His first two great thunderbolts, The chariots of Armageddon.


Marie Cecile said...

Thank you for sharing this poem. Thomas Merton it seems knew very well what our Lady speaks about!

May our Blessed Mother's words speak loudly!

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Yes Marie Cecile, he certainly did. What's more, his command of the English language was superb. Have you read The Seven Storey Mountain by Merton or Life and Holiness (written especially for the laity)?

Merton was a monk, a scholar and a wordsmith. The monastic version of Gilbert.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful poem by a beautiful Cistercian monk. Thanks for sharing it.

Marie Cecile said...

No I haven't Paul. I heard about him from the gift shop at St Joseph's Abbey, when I first went in search of where God was leading me and blindly looking for answers.

I have never read any of his books or writings. My reading library is very small with a handful of known artists.

If anything I learn about these fabulous writers and Saints by many people such as yourself, who send many of us clueless laity in search of what to read that will continue guiding us on a path that is a constant journey. Thank you for being a guiding star in the darkest of nights.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

The Scripture says, "People sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron."

Thank you for all that you ARE, and all that you do for Jesus.


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