Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.
A guest, I answered, worthy to be here.
Love said, “You shall be he.”
I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
Truth Lord, but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
My dear, then I will serve.
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.
In A Book of Religious Verse, H Gardner, ed. (Oxford Univ Press 1972), 132.
Simone Weil (1909-1943)
Vicki Priest (This poem is included in the 2014 anthology, The Chorus, compiled and translated into Korean by Aeire Choi. Poems are in both Korean and English. The Chorus is a truly beautiful book of spiritual poetry, and well made [it’s heavy!]. Available through Aladin.)
God is pure beauty. The longing
To love the beauty of the world in
A human being is essentially
The longing for the Incarnation.
What we love is perfect joy itself.
It is not in our power to travel
In a vertical direction. Christ
Himself came down and took possession
Of me. I was able to rise above this
Wretched flesh, to leave it to suffer by itself.
Something stronger than I was
Compelled me to go down on my knees.
It is not my business to think about
Myself. My business is to think about God.
Only obedience is invulnerable for all time.
I always believed that the instant
Of death is the center and object of life.
Every time I think of the crucifixion
Of Christ I commit the sin of envy.
The future is still to be feared.
The danger is not in the soul’s doubt that
There is bread, but, by a lie, to persuade itself
It is not hungry. Christ is our bread. If one
Turns aside from him to go toward the truth,
One will not go far before falling into his arms.
This “poem” consists of quotes by Simone Weil.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Love is and was my lord and king,
And in his presence I attend
To hear the tidings of my friend,
Which every hour his couriers bring.
Love is and was my king and lord,
And will be, though as yet I keep
Within the court on earth, and sleep
Encompassed by his faithful guard,
And hear at times a sentinel
Who moves about from place to place,
And whispers to the worlds of space,
In the deep of night, that all is well.
In The One Year Book of Poetry, P Comfort & D Partner, ed.s (Tyndale House Pub.s 1999), “Feb. 11” page.
6 thoughts on “Christian Poems IV: For Simone Weil”
Hello, this weekend is good for me, because this point in time i am reading this impressive educational piece of
writing here at my residence.
Hello! I like your poem “Simone Weil”. I would like to get your permission to publish it in my book.
Please give me a note.
Hi Aerie57. Well thank you very much! I was wondering if there was a way to write you, like at Gravatar, but I don’t see that there is. I don’t want to provide my email here on the comments, so I guess we’ll have to communicate here, unless you have Twitter and want to send me a private note there (soon, since I’m thinking of deleting that account: MonkwearCP@Twitter). I’m sure that would be fine, as long as I retain the rights to it; I’d like to know more about your book, too – that would be good! Thanks again. Let me know.
It is only today that I found your reply. Curiously, it did not appear on this page when I checked for it for days after my request. Today I found it while I was making a list of the websites for acknowledgment. I had joined WordPress.com to be able to write here, but I don’t know how it works. Could you use my WordPress.com account to leave me a message? Or, if I share this page by e-mail, does my e-mail address appear to you? I will try that way.
Hi Aerie57. When you open the comments page from your dashboard, you can see all the comments at once, and a commentor’s email is on there too. I can see an email for you right now, though I don’t know if it’s your current one. I will send a test email to that address since I’m not sure that you can see any of my comments at your dashboard . . . I’d have to comment at your blog for that. Thanks!