Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CATHERINE KINRADE, by THOMAS EDWARD BROWN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CATHERINE KINRADE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: None spake when wilson stood before
Last Line: And for a space again there was no voice in heaven.
Alternate Author Name(s): Brown, T. E.
Subject(s): Forgiveness; Sin; Clemency

NONE spake when Wilson stood before
The throne --
And He that sat thereon
Spake not; and all the presence-floor
Burnt deep with blushes, as the angels cast
Their faces downwards. Then at last,
Awe-stricken, he was 'ware
How on the emerald stair
A woman sat, divinely clothed in white,
And at her knees four cherubs bright,
That laid
Their heads within her lap. Then, trembling, he essayed
To speak: -- "Christ's mother, pity me!"
Then answered she: --
"Sir, I am Catherine Kinrade."
Even so -- the poor dull brain,
Drenched in unhallowed fire,
It had no vigour to restrain --
God's image trodden in the mire
Of impious wrongs -- whom last he saw
Gazing with animal awe
Before his harsh tribunal, proved unchaste,
Incorrigible, woman's form defaced
To uttermost ruin by no fault of hers --
So gave her to the torturers;
And now -- some vital spring adjusted,
Some faculty that rusted
Cleansed to legitimate use --
Some undeveloped action stirred, some juice
Of God's distilling dropt into the core
Of all her life -- no more
In that dark grave entombed,
Her soul had bloomed
To perfect woman -- swift celestial growth
That mocks our temporal sloth --
To perfect woman -- woman made to honour,
With all the glory of her youth upon her.
And from her lips and from her eyes there flowed
A smile that lit all Heaven; the angels smiled;
God smiled, if that were smile beneath the state that glowed
Soft purple -- and a voice: -- "Be reconciled!"
So to his side the children crept,
And Catherine kissed him, and he wept.
Then said a seraph: -- "Lo! he is forgiven."
And for a space again there was no voice in Heaven.

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