Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Holy Innocents

December twenty-eighth, the fourth day of Christmas, is known as the Day of the Holy Innocents –the day commemorating Herod's massacre of the young boys in Judea. 

For today I am sharing a sonnet written by Malcolm Guite regarding this sorrow-filled event. Reprinted below with the author's gracious permission. (If you have not read his blog or books, you should... here. If you click the poem's title, you can hear Malcolm read the sonnet himself –it is beautiful.)

by Malcolm Guite
We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
Or cosy in a crib beside the font,
But he is with a million displaced people
On the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
Glancing behind and shouldering their load.
Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,
The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
And death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.

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