Enter Advent

entering advent


Charm with your stainlessness these winter nights,

Skies, and be perfect!

Fly vivider in the fiery dark, you quiet meteors,

And disappear.

You moon, be slow to go down,

This is your full!

The four white roads make off in silence

Towards the four parts of the starry universe.

Time falls like manna at the corners of the wintery earth.

We have become more humble than the rocks,

More wakeful than the patient hills.

Charm with your stainlessness these nights in Advent, holy spheres,

While minds as meek as beasts,

Stay close at home in the sweet hay;

And intellects are quieter than the flocks that feed by starlight.

Oh pour your darkness and your brightness over all

our solemn valleys,

Your skies:  and travel like the gentle Virgin,

Toward the planets’ stately setting,

O white full moon as quiet as Bethlehem!


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3 thoughts on “Enter Advent”

  1. This is one of my favorite poems which brings the immensity of God into the modern world.
    The God of Galaxies
    Mark Van Doren
    The god of galaxies has more to govern
    Than the first men imagined, when one mountain
    Trumpeted his anger, and one rainbow,
    Red in the East, restored them to his love.
    One earth it was, with big and lesser torches,
    And stars by night for candles. And he spoke
    To single persons, sitting in their tents.
    Now streams of worlds, now powdery great whirlwinds
    Of universes far enough away
    To seem but fog-wisps in a bank of night
    So measureless the mind can sicken, trying-
    Now seas of darkness, shoreless, on and on
    Encircled by themselves, yet washing farther
    Than the last triple sun, revolving, shows.
    The god of galaxies-how shall we praise him?
    For so we must, or wither. Yet what word
    Of words? And where to send it, on which night
    Of winter stars, of summer, or by autumn
    In the first evening of the Pleiades?
    The god of galaxies, of burning gases,
    May have forgotten Leo and the Bull.
    But God remembers, and is everywhere.
    He even is the void, where nothing shines.
    He is the absence of his own reflection
    In the deep gulf; he is the dusky cinder
    Of pure fire in its prime; he is the place
    Prepared for hugest planets: black idea,
    Brooding between fierce poles he keeps apart.
    Those altitudes and oceans, though, with islands
    Drifting, blown immense as by a wind,
    And yet no wind; and not one blazing coast
    Where thought could live, could listen-oh, what word
    Of words? Let us consider it in terror,
    And say it without voice. Praise universes
    Numberless. Praise all of them. Praise Him.

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