Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Advent Lyrics 7

Here is a bit of dramatic poetry in the seventh Advent Lyric, in the conversation between Mary and Joseph about her pregnancy. Not as funny as the one recorded in the York play of "Joseph's Trouble About Mary," but still intriguing.



“O my Joseph, son of Jacob, kin of David
the most famous of kings! Must you now
separate yourself so firmly from my affection,
renouncing my love?”

“I am quickly seized in deep offense at you,
bereaved of my reputation, because I have heard
many words of harm about you, broad sorrows
and painful words, and they speak insults to me,
many many wounding allegations.

I must pour forth many tears in a miserable mind.
God can easily heal the heart-sorrows in my head
and comfort the meagerly endowed.
Alas young virigin, my maiden Mary!”

“What are you mourning,
crying out so carefully?”

“I have never found any fault in you,
nor any reason to doubt you,
no deeds of defilement, and now you speak
these words to me when you are filled
with every sort of sin and crime.”

“I too have received many hurts
from this child-bearing state.”

“How can I forgive this hateful speech
or find any answer in reply to the wrathful?
It is widely known that I took on
from the bright temple of the Lord
a free-born and clean virgin, without blot,
and now everything has changed
by I don’t know who—

“Neither course avails me at all,
to speak up or to be silent.
If I tell the truth then
the daughter of David must die,
losing her life through stones.
The situation is even stronger
if I should cover up her crime—
the perjurer must live afterwards
hated by all peoples, abominated by men.”

Then the virgin revealed the righteous
mysteries, and spoke thus:
“I shall speak the truth by the Son of the Measurer,
the Helper of Souls, that I still know nothing
of the caresses of any man in any place on earth,
but it was granted to me, youthful in the yard,
that the high-angel of heaven,
Gabriel gave me greeting.

“He spoke to me soothfully that the Spirit of the Skies
would illuminate me with light, and the life’s
majesty I must bear forth, the Bright Son,
the powerful Child of God, the Brilliant Origin of Glory.
Now I am made into his temple without stain,
and inside me the Soul of Comfort indwells.
Now abandon all sorrowful thoughts of pain.

“Speak your neverending thanks
to the famou Son of the Measurer
that I am become his mother,
though still a virgin, and that you
will be called his worldly father
in the eyes of men—this prophecy
must be realized in his own person.” (164-213)

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