A poem based on Matthew's account of the resurrection of Jesus,
With the twin gazelles being the two Mary's who first witnessed to this glorious event.
|'Noli Me Tangere,' Fra Angelico, 1440-1442.|
This is the night, when dawn first shewed her face,
When two Mary’s walking forth, lo what grace!
Heaven’s angel thundered down, shook the earth,
Rolled away thick tomb’s stone, announced rebirth
Stating thus in words of fire, blazing
Seraphic countenance, flash of lightening,
Robed in snow: “Tremble not ye maiden’s fair,
I know whom thou dost seek—he was slain up there
On Calvary’s crest, but He’s not here, nay!
For He has risen as He said, this day!
He’s torn the yoke of death, climbed Zion’s peak,
Opened wide heaven’s gate to all the meek
Rising like the sun, like an eagle glad,
With healing in His wings, so smile ye sad!
Midst angelic shouts, the harp, horn and lute,
An Exodus he led, followed limbo’s troop,
Riding forth like a stallion unsheathed
Thy fair Jesus before,” so he did speak,
“See for thyself sweet maids where he once lay,
Then go with haste announce this happy day!”
And seeing the empty tomb on they ran
When suddenly upon their way a man,
A man stood there upon the path aglow.
“Peace beloved daughters,” gentle and slow,
And falling on their knees they clasped his feet,
Weeping with awed delight, no words to speak,
As palped their hearts within their breasts, again
He spoke: “Be not afraid, I have risen
As I said. Go on make haste, and tell ye
My brethren to leave for Galilee,
For there I shall be, and there they’ll see me,”
And at that he disappeared, they could not see,
They paused enrapted, then looked at each other—
Off they ran like twin gazelles, and shudder
Did the soil beneath their feet, for never
Have human feet ran so quick—not ever
Since the dawn of time, not even Daphne
In Apollo’s chase outdid pace of these,
And nor has better news—what happy news! —
Been brought than that carried by these hinds’ shoes.
So enter in O blessed maids, my soul,
And let me hear again this day—unfold—
This happy news that’s past but never old.
16th April, 2017.