December 13 is St Lucy’s Day. This sonnet (which is a revised version) reflects on the last week of the darkest days of the year when those days are shortest and the sun is furthest from its place in high summer. The feast of St. Lucy is marked by many traditions, but the Scandinavian tradition of Lucy wearing a wreath of candles so that she might see in the dark of the catacombs where she she bears food to Christians in hiding is a lovely one.
In 2016, just before St. Lucy’s Day, terrorists massacred Christians worshipping in Egypt. The defiance of those Christians who did not chant, “Death!” or vow revenge, but instead chanted the Nicene Creed moved me. In profession we drive back darkness not in the obsession of vengeance.
If it’s helpful you may listen to me read it via the player below.
The cloudy sky o’erwhelms the failing sun
Who does not show or shine on sleeping trees
But wintered ‘way to southern courses run
Where the warm breeze blows golden, dappled leaves.
Dear Lucy, wreathed in beauty, bearing gifts
That we dared not hope for here in the dark
And seeing your courage, our spirits rise, lift
To honor in name, remember and mark.
Again, we are lost midway through our life
Huddled ‘gainst death in catacombs of fear
Crying the Creed: “God of God; Light of Light,”
Defying darkness till our Hope appears.
Come, illumine, bear your gifts, wreathed in light
To us who await the end of winter’s night.
© Randall Edwards 2017