Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Picture Post-Card of Notre-Dame de Amiens at Dawn - poem

Lawrence Hall

A Picture Post-Card of Notre-Dame de Amiens at Dawn

For Doris and Anthony


Merci, mes amis, for the picture-card
Of Notre-Dame de Amiens at Dawn
Of church and river greeting the new day
Over the loving heart of La Belle France

Near the Palais de Justice a streetlamp glows,
And across the Riviere des Clairons
A café opens for early risers
Workers and joggers, scholars, and poets too

While Matins and Lauds sung from the cathedral
Anticipate the sun and early Mass


But otherwise the city is at rest
Thousands of years of civilization
Do not leap out of bed like children on
A holiday; they wait for the proper hour

To rise, to offer up their ancient prayers
So that Amiens may be blessed in her work
Of loving service to humanity
Her chosen duty from the long ago

This vision is France, first daughter of the Church,
God’s lamp upon the altar of the world

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