Anne Barbara Ridler

(30 July 1912 – 15 October 2001 / Rugby, England)

Poem For A Christmas Broadcast


Woman s Voice
Perhaps you find the angel most improbable?
It spoke to men asleep, their minds ajar
For once to admit the entrance of a stranger.
Few have heard voices, but all have made a journey:
The mind moves, desiring dedication,
Desiring to lay its gifts, as a dog its bone,
At the feet of the first creation. 'Take it or leave it'
Says pride, 'You made it; You must bear the blame.'
But secretly the heart 'O make it good.'
'Either God acts in vain, or this is God.'

1st King
Melchior brings gold. O teach me to give,
For this was infancy's first love:
Its first possession; its adult passion
O new creation
Take my treasure and make me free.

2nd King
Caspar, incense: all that is strange,
Oblique, projected beyond the range
Of the First Person. Such mediation
O new creation
Take, that we dare the direct sight.

3rd, King
Death is a strong wish. Balthasar
Brings his desire in a gift of myrrh ;
Seeking perfection in pain and cessation
O new creation
Die for me, make me desire to live.

All Three
Mary, who nourished glory on human kindness
By springs of power hidden from the mind,
Here is our small self-knowledge, now
Make it acceptable, or teach us how.

Mary
He will accept it, never fear,
For his audacity is my despair.
O do not give what he should not bear.
His boldness is beyond belief,
His threats, his lightnings, his short grief.
Is it divine or mortal confidence?
Mortal ignorance, godlike innocence.
Brazen, he takes love as a right;
He knows to demand is to give delight.
Youngling, here we offer love
What have we to offer but love?
And what is our love? Greed and despair.
O do not take what you should not bear,
Or tainted love by true convince:
Let us not harm you, helpless Prince.
Sin is the chance of mercy;
Then even sin contrives your greater glory.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010

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