Thursday, December 23, 2004

New Link & a Christmas Message

I found yet another great music blog, The Acoustic Woodlands, and had a nice exchange of e-mails with Marc, the proprietor. Check it out.

My favorite Christmas poem is "The Burning Babe," because for me it best expresses the essence of the holiday and the appropriate corrective to rampant commercialism and sentimentalism. That said, I have no wish to offend followers of other faiths or non-believers. This poem can be appreciated for its literary quality alone.

The Burning Babe

As I in hoary winter night stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised was I with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who scorch-ed with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames with which His tears were fed:
"Alas!" quoth He, "but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!"
"My faultless breast the furnace is; the fuel, wounding thorns;
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke; the ashes, shames and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls:
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath, to wash them in my blood."
With this He vanished out of sight and swiftly sank away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas Day.
––Robert Southwell

A happy and blessed holiday season to all!


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