“Repentance”

You’ve set reflections of your glory’s fire,
O Lord, in human faces you have made,
And I have written verse that called them fair
And called them “my beloved” with my sighs,
Then feeling—as I thought—my highest joys
When I but shared a hall, and breath, with them.
But surely all this glory came from you;
To you alone should heights of praise be given,
And fervent love be offered first to you.
For now I would repent me of this sin—
That I have loved, in deeds of thought and word,
These images above Whom they reflect,
The creature over her Creator-Lord.
Forgive my errant foolishness, O Lord,
And teach me always to lift up my gaze
And find delight in best and clearest form
In you alone, as I was made to do.

I wrote this in a few stages a couple of weeks ago, starting after my family sang “Fairest Lord Jesus” as our evening hymn. I decided to post it today, as somewhat suitable to both of the two previous days, Ash Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Day.

As always, I earnestly welcome your (further) comments, suggestions, questions, critique, or other feedback about this or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you liked this poem, or you didn’t like it, or it made you think of something, or … please leave a comment to let me know.) If you liked this, you can follow this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday, or read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (perhaps starting with those linked from one of the “archive ” installments, since the full archive is by now, at well over a hundred poems, somewhat daunting); I’d especially like to know, as part of my preparations for a collection, which poems you think are my best. You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.

This poem is also mirrored on my wiki.

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