O Oriens

I can’t remember where I first heard the sonnets of Malcolm Guite. I bought his book Sounding the Seasons earlier this year but decided to wait until the beginning of the church liturgical year before pulling it out to read. This morning over coffee I opened it for the first time.

This is from his The Great O Antiphons series for Advent.


dawn, Easter Morning, over the Salish Sea

O Oriens
First light and then first lines along the east
To touch and brush a sheen of light on water,
As though behind the sky itself they traced
The shift and shimmer of another river
Flowing unbidden from its hidden source;
The Day-Spring, the eternal Prima Vera.
Blake saw it too. Dante and Beatrice
Are bathing in it now, away upstream . . .
So every trace of light begins a grace
In me, a beckoning. The smallest gleam
Is somehow a beginning and a calling:
‘Sleeper awake, the darkness was a dream
For you will see the Dayspring at your waking
Beyond your long last line the dawn is breaking.’

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