I happened upon this wonderful poem by one Frater Simeon Charles Goodwin, O.Praem., a seminarian at St. Michael’s Abbey. It’s always a delight to find good rhyming verse with a tightly-wound meter—and rich theology to boot! Throughout the text, we can detect hints of Chesterton and, in the very last couplet, the sensual, baroque Richard Crashaw. I offer it here for your enjoyment on this solemnity of the Sacred Heart.
The Sacred Heart
- by Simeon Charles Goodwin, O.Praem.
There is a heart that beat with love
When time could mark no beat.
It echoed with a triple-pulse
And surged in thunders sweet.
Too happy not to overflow
It laughed and all was made.
It sighed and angel hosts came forth
In myriad parade.
It sang the seas and skies to be,
Hummed forth the rolling hills.
It beamed out beast and bird in love,
A sweet and mighty will.
It breathed into the mire and muck,
Sweet nothings to the earth;
And clay was made creation’s crown,
Man made with God’s own worth.
And how that heart did pound with peace
When he and man would walk
In silent love in evening winds
Too full of love for talk.
Oh man was glad and God was glad
And all creation too,
But man in madness pierced God’s heart
And rent the world in two.
There is a secret hideaway
Where cosmoi come to cry,
With atrium no bigger than
The needle’s narrow eye.
And there the mighty waters wait
To burst on arid wastes.
Men need but kiss the lance-made lips
To learn how sweet blood tastes.