Author: Luisa Perkins
•6:00 AM
The Adoration of the Shepherds, Caravaggio (1571-1610)

Christmas

The shepherds sing; and shall I silent be?
My God, no hymn for Thee?
My soul's a shepherd too; a flock it feeds
Of thoughts, and words, and deeds.
The pasture is Thy word: the streams, Thy grace
Enriching all the place.
Shepherd and flock shall sing, and all my powers
Outsing the daylight hours.
Then will we chide the sun for letting night
Take up his place and right:
We sing one common Lord; wherefore he should
Himself the candle hold.
I will go searching, till I find a sun
Shall stay, till we have done;
A willing shiner, that shall shine as gladly,
As frost-nipped suns look sadly.
Then will we sing, and shine all our own day,
And one another pay:
His beams shall cheer my breast, and both so twine,
Till ev'n His beams sing, and my music shine.

--George Herbert (1593-1633)
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6 comments:

On 14/12/08 , Luisa Perkins said...

Charette, just so you know: this piece is also set to music in the Vaughan Williams "Hodie," and it is glorious.

 
On 14/12/08 , charrette said...

I love that I just logged on and found my very own personalized comment waiting for me. Thanks, Luisa. You knew that was going to be my very next question, didn't you? It just begs to be sung. Gorgeous poem. Wonderful metaphors. And I love the Caravaggio.

You should compile these posts into a book. That would make the loveliest Christmas gift.

 
On 14/12/08 , Annette Lyon said...

I love that painting. It's so different.

 
On 14/12/08 , Heidi Ashworth said...

Every morning I am amazed at the sheer quantity of religious art and poetry out there for you to choose from and then I remember that I think I was taught at one time that religion was pretty much the only subject for painting for a while--poetry wasn't so confined yet it was still the fashion of the day. And like Charrette says--this one is so gorgeous!

 
On 14/12/08 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Ahhhhh.... just, ahhhhhh. Inhaling deeply and with pleasure.

 
On 22/12/08 , Goofball said...

That Caravaggio looks very special...as if there's transparant layers on it. Weird