Ujamaa Christian Poetry

The Wreath of Audelay

When the waves grow wild and the walls fall down,
And hares sit upon the hearthstones,
Then the dreadful day of doom comes after.

Though I thought I was in this world
I had no way of knowing to what end.
So I have walked with many men,
And I say I've never seen such a sight-
For there I dreamed in my great doubt,
And what I saw in my soul I will tell:

On a day of great darkness it befell…
He stood upon a high pillar:

'O God of My enemies, have mercy-
he is the child of perdition.'

His veins and sinews were burst, and his bones,
And streams of blood followed his feet.
Thus were the stones of the Temple broken,
Opening the seven wounds of Christ.
While all the wives of Jerusalem wept,
They dragged him forth with their strong ropes,
And Peter wept, and Mary Magdalene,
And Thomas of India, mad.

No fire could heat the water of those wells,
Though they ran in a dry valley.

Some brooded with fire, desiring to die;
It seemed that his head was bleeding.

'I believe truly that you are in this bread.
An angel painted this, your face.'

The languorous night of five thousand years…
In your prayers there is no hoping.

Raveners shall suddenly fall on you…
Between four fiends, the Tormentor.

The rose arises, and the rose falls down,
And I will withdraw my vengeance.

AND THEN I SAW a thousand hills of gold,
Fire, dying in water fearlessly.

And in a grove of birch trees with white bark,
I saw a fierce boar brought to bay;
The strong hunting dogs were running about
And I thought the sight beautiful.
So I sat on a fallen willow tree,
For the noise went on until night,
And it was a good way to pass the time,
Watching him throb and writhe near death.
But then a dark and earth-smelling mist rose up,
Black and tainted as the boar's flesh.

'My mother and the saints will pray for you.'

The rose arises, and the rose falls down.

Now my heart flags, my hands tremble.

Have mind and mercy on Blind Audelay
That made in English this passion.

Written by John Ballam


Ujamaa Christian Poetry