Advent to Candlemas (Vol. 1)

The Apple Wood of Calvary


1. The apple wood of Calvary
In sweet, sad smoke obscures the star,
Then upward drifts as francincense
To meet the angels from afar:
Eve's virgin child awaits her child
While Joseph makes the manger good;
The tree, the carpenter, the Cross,
He chose to work in humble wood.

2. The bloody marble, rigid, cold,
Surveys the edict's cruel sneer
As Herod, flushed from banqueting,
Is surfeited with wine and fear:
The cry of innocents resounds
As pilate mounts the judgment seat,
His hands within the marble bowl
Twist in the baptism of defeat.

3. But, then, the star above the cave
Marking the place where Jesus lay,
Obscured by clouds of heaven's rage
Upon that dark, redeeming day,
Serenely rose the following night
To see the tomb's disgorging grace,
The manger's promise ratified,
God's embassy in endless space.