Blazing with the light of Christ

Claire Cowden is in the Diploma of Anglican Studies program and comes to Seminary of the Southwest from the Diocese of Northwest Texas.

My offering to you this Christmastide is this poem by 17th century Anglican priest and poet, George Herbert. This is a poem about song, not necessarily the musical kind.  As you move through the poem with him, may you feel your own soul’s song recalled, revived, nourished, empowered, and, finally, in an exchange of gifts with our Redeemer, blazing with the light of Christ!


Christmas (II)
by George Herbert

The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?My God, no hymn for thee?
My soul’s a shepherd too; a flock it feeds
Of thoughts, and words, and deeds.
The pasture is thy word: the streams, thy grace
Enriching all the place.
Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers
Outsing the daylight hours.
Then we will chide the sun for letting night
Take up his place and right:
We sing one common Lord; wherefore he should
Himself the candle hold.
I will go searching, till I find a sun
Shall stay, till we have done;
A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly,
As frost-nipt suns look sadly.
Then we will sing, and shine all our own day,
And one another pay:
His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine,
Till ev’n his beams sing, and my music shine.

from George Herbert: The Country Parson, The Temple. John N. Wall, Jr, ed. New York: Paulist Press, 1981.