The power and beauty of religious poetry - Cast fear behind thee, I am come!

The power and beauty of religious poetry - Cast fear behind thee, I am come!

Marion and Delia Craig

Poetry, like other art forms, has the power to inspire us spiritually through its beauty and insights. The following religious poems possess these qualities.

The first three (here) are by one of Australia's foremost poets, Bruce Dawe, who has been a regular contributor to this journal and has had several of his collections published. The other two (below) were written by Melbourne-based sisters, Marion and Delia Craig, whose religious poems have appeared regularly in 'AD2000' since its beginning.

Cast fear behind thee, I am come!

Sits Lucretia heavy hearted
'Mid her spinning maids, when lo!
Stands her Lord with words of greeting.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

Ah, those words hold richer meaning
Than the antique heart could know,
Fearing, longing, and delivered.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

All creation groans and travails,
Now as in that long ago,
For one hope and one redemption.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

And the Christian soul with longing
Knows the clouds of fear and woe
Bear the Lord Who cometh quickly.
"Pone metum, Venio!"

Delia Christian Craig

* * *

Lord shall I feel afraid?

Yet Thou, O God, art kinder than cold man
I grasp Thy living hands in my utter fear
Their palms and wrists punctured by a nail's span.
In the sickening throb of tortured nerves that seer
Thy hallowed Heart: deep dug, indelible, Lord,
Compassionate and strong, O gentle Lord,
Thus Thou wilt be at death's dawn, stark and terrible.
If but I cry, call, cling and wait thy word.
It will be different in the latter hour;
A sword* across Thy lips, Thy garments white
As sun-shot snows in dread and splendid power,
Thou descend to scan and sift aright.
Then, when I creep from mine earth's quivering shade
Up in these hands - Lord, shall I feel afraid?

* Apocalypse Chap xxx Verse 15
The Apocalypse Christ out of whose mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword.

Marion Constance Craig

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