A PRAYER FOR THE HEALING OF THE WOUNDS OF
by: Laurence Housman (1865-1959)
- S not the work done? Nay, for
still the Scars
- Are open; still Earths Pain stands deified,
- With Arms spread wide:
- And still, like falling stars,
- Its Blood-drops strike the doorposts, where abide
- The watchers with the Bride,
- To wait the final coming of their kin,
- And hear the sound of kingdoms gathering in.
- While Earth wears wounds, still must Christs Wounds
- Whom Love made Life, and of Whom Life made Pain,
- And of Whom Pain made Death.
- No breath,
- Without Him, sorrow draws; no feet
- Wax weary, and no hands hard labour bear,
- But He doth wear
- The travail and the heat:
- Also, for all things perishing, He saith,
- My grief, My pain, My death.
- O kindred Constellation of bright stars,
- Ye shall not last for aye!
- Far off there dawns a comfortable day
- Of healing for those Scars:
- When, faint in glory, shall be wiped away
- Each planetary fire,
- Now, all the aching way the balm of Earths desire!
- For from the healèd nations there shall come
- The healing touch: the blind, the lamed, the dumb,
- With sight, and speed, and speech,
- And ardent reach
- Of yearning hands shall cover up from sight
- Those Imprints of a night
- Forever past. And all the Morians lands
- Shall stretch out hands of healing to His Hands.
- While to His Feet
- The timid, sweet
- Four-footed ones of earth shall come and lay,
- Forever by, the sadness of their day:
- And, they being healed, healing spring from them.
- So for the Stem
- And Rod of Jesse, roots and trees and flowers,
- Touched with compassionate powers,
- Shall cause the thorny Crown
- To blossom down
- Laurel and bay.
- So lastly to His Side,
- Stricken when, from the Body that had died,
- Going down He saw sad souls being purified,
- Shall rise, out of the deeps no man
- Can sound or scan,
- The morning star of Heaven that once fell
- And fashioned Hell:--
- Now, star to star
- Mingling to melt where shadeless glories are.
- O Earth, seek deep, and gather up thy soul,
- And come from high and low, and near and far,
- And make Christ whole!
POEMS BY LAURENCE HOUSMAN
"A Prayer for the Healing of
the Wounds of Christ" is reprinted from The Oxford Book
of English Mystical Verse. Ed. Nicholson & Lee. Oxford:
The Clarendon Press, 1917.