UNBORN WORD of the day


A Child My Choice
May 12, 2008, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Poems

A Child My Choice

By Robert Southwell (1561-1595)*

Let folly praise that fancy loves, I praise and love
that Child
Whose heart no thought, whose tongue no word,
whose hand no deed defiled.

I praise Him most, I love Him best, all praise and
love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live, and cannot live
amiss.

Love’s sweetest mark, laud’s highest theme, man’s
most desired light,
To love Him life, to leave Him death, to live in Him
delight.

He mine by gift, I His by debt, thus each to other
due;
First friend He was, best friend He is, all times will
try Him true.

Though young, yet wise; though small, yet strong;
though man, yet God He is:
As wise, He knows; as strong, He can; as God, He
loves to bless.

His knowledge rules, His strength defends, His love
doth cherish all;
His birth our joy, His life our light, His death our
end of thrall.

Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants, yet do His
angels sing;
Out of His tears, His sighs and throbs, doth bud a
joyful spring.

Almighty Babe, whose tender arms can force all
foes to fly,
Correct my faults, protect my life, direct me when I
die!

*Father Robert Southwell, Poet, Jesuit, martyr; born at Horsham, Norfolk, England, in 1561; hanged at Tyburn, 21 February, 1595. He was imprisoned for being a Catholic priest in England at first in Topcliffe’s house, where he was repeatedly put to the torture in the vain hope of extracting evidence about other priests. Later he was transferred to the Tower of London. It is thought that much of his poetry, none of which was published during his lifetime, was written in prison. On the 10th of February 1595 he was tried before the King’s Bench on the charge of treason, and was hanged at Tyburn.


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