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Gloria in Profundis PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Friday, 24 December 2010 10:45

One of my little Christmas literary treasures is an original Golden Cockerel Press printing of G. K. Chesterton's The House of Christmas illustrated with an engraving by Eric Gill.  I had planned to put it up today but my friend Mark Shea has posted that wonderful Christmas poem on his blog for your savoring.

So I thought I'd post the Chesterton poem that is one of my other favorites.  It doesn't evoke our longing for our eternal home, for what C. S. Lewis named "Joy".  Here we contemplate the love and humility that made the Incarnation possible: the unimaginable distance that God crossed to seek and to find us.


Gloria in Profundis

There has fallen on earth for a token

A god too great for the sky.

He has burst out of all thing and broken

The bounds of eternity:

Into time and the terminal land

He has strayed like a thief or a lover,

For the wine of the world brims over,

Its slendour is spilt on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,

Who mounts if the mountains fall,

If the fixed stars topple and tumble

And a deluge of love drowns all-

who rears up his head for a crown,

Who holds up his will for a warrent,

Who strives with the starry torrent,

When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing

The fallen angles fell

Inverted in insolence, scaling

The hanging mountains of hell;

But unmeasured of plummet and ord

Too deep for their sights to scan,

Outrushing the fall of man

Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest

The spout of the stars in spate -

Where the thunderbolt thinks to be slowest

And the lightening fears to be late:

As men dive for a sunken gem

Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,

The fallen star that has found it


In the cavern of Bethlehem.





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