Advent

Advent

Where haws along bedraggled hedgerows burn , [comma added in print]
See now the gallant robin carolling,
Breast glorious with God’s blood : at every note
Men drugged with sleeping stir ,
Start up in terror from their cloudy dream ,
Set heart and hand to hasty homaging :
Now sweep their paths of every withered day ,
Now with numb fingers strive to scrape away
That crude and spongy-green encrusted sin
Spawned by damp years upon a mouldering barn :
Tenement ruinous , poor soul at best
Too crazy shelter for the meanest guest
Prepare , prepare ;
Light candles ; call for wine, for bread ; choose gifts ; [printed ‘candles ,’ ]
For soon He shall appear ,
Not heralded by fanfare or by drum , [printed ‘and by drum But by’]
But by the silent radiance of a star ,
By many bells , by children singing clear , [printed ‘merry bells’]
By grunt and bray and lowing through the night ,
By twittering, by the whirring of small wings : [printed to full stop]
Be ready ; now look up , the sky is bright — [printed ‘Be ready :’]
Slow on that pearl-grey sea a dark ship drifts ,
When sudden through the porthole prys the sun : [printed ‘pries’]
Now row on row of naked trees upturn
Gaunt hands in prayer ; and still the robin sings , [printed ‘prayer ,’]
Tuning his music for the King of kings .

30 November 1953

This was printed in the St Matthews Parish Magazine December 1986, with some corrections , and over the signature M.G. Parry