Saturday, 17 April 2010

Paul Claudel's Hymn of the Blessed Sacrament

I was very taken by an extract from Paul Claudel's Hymn of the Blessed Sacrament, that was the "Meditation of the Day" in Magnificat for yesterday. I have followed Magnificat's layout, but have no way of knowing whether this follows Claudel's original or is dictated by the typesetting.
We, too, my God, we perceive that Thou art 
          abandoned, alone,
Like an old man in the midst of the throng
          too busy to live.
Because we have savoured the honey of Thy
          goodness so manifold grown,
Laying our heads on Thy shoulder,
          with hearts from which speech has flown,
                    We offer what we can give.

Give us to eat, we beg, O Man of the
          "House of Bread"!
Receive the stranger to dwell forever in Thy
Hunger and thirst we have known, far from Thee
          in the days that have sped.
Now, freed from the publican's plotting,
          may we find wherever we tread
                    Wheat of Thy dispensation!

Our supersubstantial bread, O give us, today!
Enough of the morning's manna, the bread with
          transience imbued!
Enough of the taste of blood and flesh, of honey
          and fruit and whey -
Tree of life, give us bread to stay!
          Thyself art my Food! ...

One instant with Thee is more precious than a
          thousand in human tents.
In Thine adorable presence it is good for us to
Thou callest me, Word of God, knowing past and
          future events.
          I cry out my intents:
"I will go in, unto the place where Thy tabernacle
          has lain!"

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