Saturday, October 8, 2011

Poem: The Bird Cage of the Infant Jesus

This is a poem by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th century Catholic figure. Perhaps good to mention that she was a Carmelite nun, otherwise the poem might be harder to understand. God indeed so loved her dear it seems, because she didn't get to be very old, only 24 years old, before she was called back again.

For us, poor exiles from our birth,
God made the pretty little birds;
Among the hills and dales of earth
They sing His praises without words;
But sometimes playful childish hands,
Choosing the ones they like the best,
Keep them in cages, where the bands
Are gilded bars for these oppressed.
O Jesus, little Brother dear!
For us from Heaven didst Thou flee;
Thou knowest well Thy birdcage here
Is Carmel, and Thy birds are we.

Our cage is gilded not at all,
Yet oh! how precious 'tis to me!
To hill or plain from its high wail
Not one of us would wish to flee.
Let not the outer world intrude!
No joy to us it now could bring.
Child Jesus! in our solitude
For Thee, for Thee alone, we sing.
Thy tiny hand has us beguiled;
Thy infant charms no words can tell;
Thy smile, most sweet and Holy Child!

Has won Thy birds to love Thee well.
Here finds the simple, candid soul
The only object of its love;
Here is the vulture's fierce control
No longer dreaded by the dove.
Upon the wings of burning prayer
The ardent heart ascends on high,
As swift the lark doth cleave the air,
With sweet, enraptured, joyful cry.
Here, in Thy praises to engage,
The nightingale and veery came.
O Little Jesus! in Thy cage
Thy birds are carolling Thy Name.
The little bird it always sings,

Nor fear for its small meal doth know;
A grain of wheat contentment brings;
It sows not, spins not, here below.
Within this cage where we have fled,
Is all provided through Thy care;
The one thing needful, Thou hast said,
Is just to love Thee, Child most fair!
So, through the hours, we sing Thy praise,
With glad, pure spirits ever blest.
We know the angels, all the days,
Love Carmel's birds within their nest.
Jesu! Thy bitter tears to dry,
That sinful men have wrung from Thee,

Thy birds to win back souls will try,
By their sweet songs of ecstasy.
One day, when earth and time are o'er,
And Thy clear call to us is given,
Then angel hands shall open the door;
Thy birds shall take their flight to Heaven;
And there, with charming, songful hosts
Of little cherubs glad and gay,
Thy happy birds from Carmel's coasts

Not that this has anything to do with it, but the website where I got this poem from, also included an animated gif rendition of the Infant Jesus of Prague I just couldn't resist including. It's just so... digital!

1 comment:

  1. used bird cage i like your way to represent these cages i love birds and i also care for them i like to keep birds in my eyes i love them to be mine and also i like for them beautiful cages i would like to appreciate you on this