Malankara World


Holy Week

By Dr Zhivago

The dark of night lies everywhere.
So young the night, the square seems like
Eternity from end to end
Where still a thousand years must
wait the dawn of day and light.

The earth is naked to the bone:
It hasn't got a thread to wear
For swinging chapel bells
Or singing with the choir.

From Holy Thursday
Unto the eve of Pascha,
The waters gnaw a riverbanks
And swirl in pools and breakers

The woods are also naked
And hushed through Passiontide;
The pines stand crowded in a throng
Like worshippers at prayer.

And in the city, rallied about
The square, the thronging trees
Stand in their nakedness, and peer
Through gratings at the church

They gaze with awe,
Their alarm
And fears are justified:
The gardens leave their fences,
Degrees and laws of life are rent -
For God is given to the grave.

They see the light at the royal gate,
The tapers glowing, the back pall,
the faces stained with tears.
They see the long procession
With Cross and Shroud
And that two birches at the gate
Have bowed aside to let them pass.

They move around the cloister walls
In crowds from curb to curb,
And bring the spring into the church -
The voice of spring,
The heady fumes of spring,
The springtime of the air,
Pungent as a prosphora.

March scatters handfuls of snow
Like alms among the lame,
As though a man had carried out
The Holy Ark outside the church,
And gave its all unto the poor.

They sing until the sunrise hour.
Then, having wept their fill,
Their chants of the Psalms and Acts
Flow with an air serene
Into an empty lamplit street.

All creatures hear the voice of spring
In the still of night , believing
That when good weather comes
Death itself shall be destroyed
By the travail of the Resurrection

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