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Anonymous Verses
8th century (translated by Brendan Kennelly)
God's Praises

Only a fool would fail
To praise God in His might
When the tiny mindless birds
Praise Him in their flight.

Christ's Bounty

I pray you, Christ, to change my heart,
    To make it whole;
Once you took on flesh like mine,
    Now take my soul.

Ignominy and pain you knew,
    The lash, the scourge,
You, the perfect molten metal
    Of my darkened forge.

You make the bright sun bless my head,
    Put ice beneath my feet,
Send salmon swarming in the tides,
    Give crops of wheat.

When Eve's wild children come to you
    With prayerful words,
You crowd the rivers with fine fish,
    The sky with birds.

You make the small flowers thrive
    In the wholesome air,
Your spread sweetness through the world.
    What miracle can compare?

 

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(c) 2001 Don Schwager