POETRY: The Flight Of The Holy Family by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff

The Flight Of The Holy Family by Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff

The shadows have been ready, falling
Through cool evening air.
And from the cleft comes Joseph, striding
Across the hush of meadow. There,
Ahead, the trees.
He points the donkey toward them
And feels a lightly fanning breeze.
It’s from angels’ wings—
The child sees them in his dream.
Mary, gazing down at him in love and pain, sings
Silent cradle songs. The quiet has no seam.
Crisscrossing glowworms light her way,
Eager to show each step and stay;
Sweet shudders bend the grasses—
They stroke her cloak’s hem as she passes;
The brooklet ceases its chatter,
The forest whispers scatter
That they might not betray the flight.
The child raised his hand,
And for their kindness on this night,
He blessed the silent land,
So that the Earth, each flower and tree,
From then on to eternity
Must dream of Heaven each night.
O happy time and bright!

 

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