Thursday, 5 December 2019

Advent Book Club day 5

Another tough poem today - indeed a series of three poems;

The Three Enemies

"Sweet, thou art pale."
"More pale to see,
Christ hung upon the cruel tree
And bore His Father's wrath for me."

"Sweet, thou art sad."
"Beneath a rod
More heavy, Christ for my sake trod
The winepress of the wrath of God."

"Sweet, thou art weary."
"Not so Christ:
Whose mighty love of me suffic'd
For Strength, Salvation, Eucharist."

"Sweet, thou art footsore."
"If I bleed,
His feet have bled; yea in my need
His Heart once bled for mine indeed."

"Sweet, thou art young."
"So He was young
Who for my sake in silence hung
Upon the Cross with Passion wrung."

"Look, thou art fair."
"He was more fair
Than men, Who deign'd for me to wear
A visage marr'd beyond compare."

"And thou hast riches."
"Daily bread:
All else is His: Who, living, dead,
For me lack'd where to lay His Head."

"And life is sweet."
"It was not so
To Him, Whose Cup did overflow
With mine unutterable woe."

"Thou drinkest deep."
"When Christ would sup
He drain'd the dregs from out my cup:
So how should I be lifted up?"

"Thou shalt win Glory."
"In the skies,
Lord Jesus, cover up mine eyes
Lest they should look on vanities."

"Thou shalt have Knowledge."
"Helpless dust!
In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust:
Answer Thou for me, Wise and Just."

"And Might."—
"Get thee behind me. Lord,
Who hast redeem'd and not abhorr'd
My soul, oh keep it by Thy Word."

They remind me of promises made at Baptism, to renounce Sin, the World and the Devil.

'The Flesh' - yes, well, I'm good at finding excuses for not doing what I ought - 
not feeling well, 
don't feel up to it,
too tired, 
it's been a long day

'The World' - yes, well, it's easy to be distracted by 
appearance, good looks
 clothes, style
 the good life, 
shopping, buying what you want

'The Devil'- yes, well, who doesn't want to be admired for their

'Get thee behind me.'

Read that line carefully - it's not 'Get thee behind me Lord'!

No, that last verse is a plea to the Lord to keep my soul, all the souls, safe by They Word - another double meaning - Thy Word as in the Bible, and Thy Word as in the promise made to everyone.

  AdventBookClub is raising money for the Trussell Trust at, and is even in a group on Facebook at We are running from Advent Sunday Dec 1st to Candlemas in January, and using Rachel Mann’s “In the Bleak Midwinter“


  1. I know and like other C R poems, but had not come across this one before. Thank you for sharing it, and for your insights too.

  2. Your welcome!
    I'm finding the book, and Rachel Mann's commentary very interesting. Kirsten