Sunday, November 13, 2011

St. Martin and the Beggar

I know this is late, but I just stumbled across this poem penned by WWI chaplain and former Notre Dame president, Fr. Charles O'Donnell. The poem is about St. Martin of Tours giving his cloak to the beggar who turns out to be Christ! The poem is interesting because it is written from the perspective of the Beggar. Thought this would be appropriate as St. Martin's feast day fell on Veteran's day this year (Nov. 11th). Enjoy!

“As I today was wayfaring”—
Holy, Holy, Holy!—low—
Said Christ in heaven’s evening—
The Holies yet more hushed and slow—
“I met a knight upon the road;
A plumed charger he bestrode.
“He saw the beggar that was I—
Holy, Holy, Holy I—long—
Head and foot one beggary—
Holy, Holy, Holy!—song—
One that shivered in the cold
While his horse trailed cloth of gold.
“Down he leaped, his sword outdrawn—
Holy, Holy, Holy!—swells—
Cleaved his cloak, laid half upon—
Holy! now a peal of bells—
Shoulders that the cross had spanned;
And I think he kissed my hand.
“Then he passed the road along,
Holy, Holy, Holy!—laud—
Caroling a knightly song—
Holy! in the face of God.
Yea, Father, by Thy sovereign name,
Begging is a goodly game.”