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Sunday, December 9, 2012

"Franciscus Christificatus" by Francis Thompson

"Franciscus Christificatus"
Francis Thompson

Thief that has leaped Heaven's star-spiked wall!
Christ's exultant bacchanal!
Wine-smears on thy hand and foot
Of the Vine that struck its root
Deep in Virgin soul, and was
Trained against the reared Cross:
Nay, thy very side its stain
Hath, to make it redly plain
How in the wassail quaffed full part
That flown vintager, thy heart.
Christ in blood stamps Himself afresh
On thy Veronical-veil of flesh.

Lovers, looking with amaze on
Each other, would be that they gaze on:
So for man's love God would be
Man, and man for His love He:
What God in Christ, man has in thee.
God gazed on man and grew embodied,
Thou, on Him gazing, turn'st engodded!
But though he held thy brow-spread tent
His little Heaven above Him bent,
Thy scept'ring reed suffices thee,
Which smote Him into sovereignty.

Thou who thoughtest thee too low
For His priest, thou shalt not so
'Scape Him and unpriested go!
In thy hand thou wouldst not hold Him,
In thy flesh thou shalt enfold Him;
Bread wouldst not change into Him...ah see!
How He doth change Himself to thee!

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