Dark Sonnets for Advent | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Mater Intemerata

The bird is calling in the midnight air,

The maiden cannot sleep, she listens long,

And starts— What noise of nail and hammer there,

When all are sleeping, interrupts the song?

Then one brute force sucks hard her swooning breath,

A great flame grows deep in her womb and blood—

Is this the kiss, the fertile seed, or death?

Is this the time, my lover and my God?

Yet no one hears, the house is like a tomb,

For no one knows this godlike, swift, and wild

Descent—like metal clashing in her womb;

She lies down, weary, still, and feels defiled.

And in that noise, how can the maiden sleep?

Exhausted, raped, what can she do but weep?

Custos Virginum

The hour when stars pale and the moon shall wane

Deep into morning, he is still awake,

Still seeing maidens drowning in the lake,

Breasts quivering and on one thigh the stain,

She staggers like a lily in the rain.

Virgin yet with child—oh, too hard to take!

His own betrothed—oh, the heart shall break!

He asks the wind, bewildered and in pain:

If it is true that you did visit her,

Why then did you not tell me in a dream?

Shall I then be a mirror of dishonor,

A pillar of the family or shame?

But I am only a poor carpenter,

My mind suspicious, ignorant, and dim.

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