The Bright-Shining Lord (After Ann Griffiths’ “I Saw Him Standing”)

I first discovered the amazingly visceral and love-saturated poetry of Ann Griffiths through my friend Erin who posted a couple of Rowan Williams’ translations on her blog a while back. The one that arrested me in particular was “I Saw Him Standing”, which you can read on Erin’s blog here. I’ve chosen it as an apt starting point for exploring Ann Griffiths’ work. Being male, it’s a little hard sometimes to copy her particular register of expressing love for Jesus, but I’ve done my best. I hope you all enjoy it.
 
The Bright-Shining Lord (After “I Saw Him Standing”)
 
The prince of love, he speaks in whispers,
whispers low to my heart’s deep voice.
Where deep calls to deep
in waterfalls, I stand, his breakers
crashing down around me with
their silent shuddering, the voice
of love amidst the thundering;
to me he calls.
 
No-one there is with eyes of such fire
seated upon his sapphire throne,
with radiance that shines my soul with its burning
and his brightness a bow in a rainy-day’s cloud.
Inexpressible, he is: how he blends such bright fury
with the gentlest whisper of his nail-scarred palms,
sparkling in glory over valleys,
the Son of Man.
 
Let the world have its dazzling allure and stories;
the eyes of this prince, this prince of love’s glory
shine truer than all of the world’s diamond lies.
He sits with the blind man and Zacchaeus, the road-side
his banqueting table, for Samaritans and me.
Sit with me, friends, at his morning-bright table
and we too will shine with him
eternally. 

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