I’m hoping to post one or two Advent poems each week.
This poem by Christina Rossetti is probably my favorite Advent poem. I love its focus on holding tight to the promise that the bridegroom will come even though there are no evident signs of His appearing. May the Lord strengthen our hope in His promises, our longing for His return, and grant us a persevering and trusting faith, even in the darkest nights of our souls.
‘Watchman, what of the night?’ we cry,
Heartsick with hope deferred:
‘No speaking signs are in the sky’,
Is still the watchman’s word.
One to another hear them speak,
The patient virgins wise:
Surely He is not far to seek,
All night we watch and rise.
The days are evil looking back,
The coming days are dim,
Yet count we not His promise slack,
But watch and wait for Him.
Weeping we hold him fast tonight,
We will not let Him go
Till daybreak smite our wearied sight,
And summer smite the snow:
Then figs shall bud, and dove with dove
Shall coo the livelong day;
Then He shall say ‘Arise, my love,
My fair one, come away!’
The Advent moon shines cold and clear.
We watch and wait.
Artwork Credit: A Servant of the Lord blog
UPDATE: There is a wonderful choral rendition of this poem at YouTube.