O Dayspring (O Oriens)

This sonnet is based on the the Great O Antiphon, O Dayspring which reads, “O Dayspring splendor of light eternal and sun of righteousness: come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.”

I have used Isaiah 9:2 and Malachi 4:2 to further draw upon for the sonnet. They read,

Isaiah 9:2 The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.”

Malachi 4:2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.


Facing west, this sunset of humanity
Denies the falling night of death’s looming shadow.
Reality is reviled as a form of profanity
That pilfers the profits, efficiency, workflow.
O Sun of Righteousness, make right and shine
On the dark cruelties of our society’s sins
Whose roots choke our hearts, our affections entwine
And can only be freed when confession begins.
O Dayspring, shine, flood our grey town in light
Drive back the darkness in which lurks our fears.
Dawn! Arise! Illuminate our night!
Speak tenderly in mercy, wipe away all our tears.
When with healing in his wings this Sun rise upon us all,
We shall bound in joy released as a calf from winter’s stall.

© Randy Edwards, 2016.
photo: Randy Edwards, sunrise Cherry Grove, SC

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