Poem for John Baptist Vianney

Today the church remembers a French priest of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Jean-Baptiste-Marie-Vianney, who helped restore the church after the French Revolution.

Poem for John Baptist Vianney

The years since he had hidden from
The army he’d deserted
Had seen the people dance amidst
The decadence of peace.

The little Corsican Emperor,
Falling down at Waterloo,
Had still this victory to his name:
The church had fallen too.

Sinking with this armistice,
A voice that no revellers heard,
It told them that there was no peace
Between these whitewashed walls.

And so Jean-Baptiste Vianney,
Though weak in voice, they say,
Called out from the wilderness,
Called out to all who’d hear,

To bring fruits meet for repentance,
To listen to the call of peace,
A peace no Emperor could defeat,
Nor Guillotine could kill.

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