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PLUNKETT, Joseph Marie


I Love You with My Every Breath


I love you with my every breath,

I make you songs like thunder birds,

Give you my life -- you give me death

And stab me with your dreadful words.


You laid my head against your heart

Last night, my lips upon your breast

And now you say that we must part

For fear your heart should be oppressed:


You cannot go against the world

For my sake only -- thus your phrase,

But I -- God's beauty is unfurled

In your gold hair, and in your gaze


The wisdom of God's bride -- each soul

that shares his love, and yours and mine,

Two lovers share your aureole

And one is mortal, one divine:


One came on earth that you might know

His love for you -- that you deny,

Now you give me this equal blow:

One died for you, and one will die.



To Grace

(On the Morning of her Christening, April 7th, 1916)


The powerful words that from my heart

Alive and throbbing leap and sing

Shall bind the dragon's jaws apart

Or bring you back a vanished spring;

They shall unseal and seal again

The fount of wisdom's awful flow,

So this one guerdon they shall gain

That your wild beauty still they show.


The joy of Spring leaps from your eyes,

The strength of dragons in your hair,

In your young soul we still surprise

The secret wisdom flowing there;

But never word shall speak or sing

Inadequate music where above

Your burning heart now spreads its wing

In the wild beauty of your Love.



I Saw the Sun at Midnight


I saw the Sun at midnight, rising red,

Deep-hued yet glowing, heavy with the stain

Of blood-compassion, and I saw It gain

Swiftly in size and growing till It spread

Over the stars; the heavens bowed their head

As from Its heart slow dripped a crimson rain,

Then a great tremor shook It, as of pain—

The night fell, moaning, as It hung there dead.


O Sun, O Christ, O bleeding Heart of flame!

Thou givest Thine agony as our life’s worth,

And makest it infinite, lest we have dearth

Of rights wherewith to call upon Thy Name;

Thou pawnest Heaven as a pledge for Earth

And for our glory sufferest all shame.



I See His Blood upon the Rose


I see his blood upon the rose

And in the stars the glory of his eyes,

His body gleams amid eternal snows,

His tears fall from the skies.


I see his face in every flower;

The thunder and the singing of the birds

Are but his voice -- and carven by his power

Rocks are his written words.


All pathways by his feet are worn,

His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,

His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,

His cross is every tree.