The Christmas Silence

by Jessica Powers

Here in the cloister they who seek discover
A wandered fragment of the Christmas silence
That hid itself from the disquieted earth:
The silence of the Virgin bending over
The little Uncreated Innocence
Upon the bed of a most hidden birth,
The silence that was Joseph's sacrament
Through years that were a threshold to this hour
And which was seed and stem to the white flower
That blossomed on his rod,
The speechlessness of the unlettered shepherds
Who stood amazed before the Lamb of God.
The angels sang at Christmas, but their music
Was like a stillness to the inner ear,
And soft as petals from a shaken bough.

They who go walking in the Christmas silence
Through any season of the changing year
Come to a Man with peace upon his brow
And see the Mother and the Infant near.
This house, as once the Saint of Alcantara
Said of Teresa's, is the little hospice
Of Bethlehem.
Cloister or cave- its solitudes shall be
The dwelling of a human trinity
And they who enter learn a wordless language
And the Divine Untold addresses them.


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