O living Wisdom, more than merely wise
But Whom all who are truly wise must love,
Your speaking brought the universe to being,
And made time begin its ceaseless pace;
You understand all things in perfect truth,
From galaxies too far to see from Earth,
To particles too quick and small to know,
To every thought a man has ever dreamed,
And knew them all before you made the first.
And all these things are under your control,
So everything must happen as you say,
According to your word and to your plan,
More perfect than a note that’s just in tune.
Come, Wisdom, teach our hearts and mortal minds
To know and always walk in prudent paths,
To shed our folly, and hereafter live
As wiser people, following your ways.
This is a verse expansion or meditation on the first of the O Antiphons (since I relied far more heavily on both the English translation in Wikipedia and the standard Neale-et-al hymn text than on the Latin, I hesitate to call it a translation); I plan to continue on to all of the other six of the antiphons (starting with “Veni, O Adonai”), and post my expanded poetry throughout this Advent season.
As always, I earnestly welcome your questions, suggestions, or other comments about this or any other part of my work. If you’d like to read more of my poetry, you can read my archive (also organized in more manageable installments); get my book, which contains over sixty of my best poems, each paired with a public-domain illustration or drawing; or follow this blog for (now only occasional) new poetry (among other things). You may also share this poem with others, subject to my sharing policy.