An Advent Poem

In these last few days before Christmas, I don’t have any more spare time than the rest of you! Rather than giving you a full-length blog post, then, I asked a friend, J.B. Toner, if I could share a poem he wrote last year. You might know his name already, as he’s had a few things published in our quarterly issues.

N.B. He had some words and phrases from such notables as Keats, Shakespeare and Chesterton that he wanted to work in, so if you notice a few bits and pieces sounding familiar, that’s probably what you’re hearing. Also, take note of the unusual rhyme scheme he’s got goin’ on with the extra rhyme added into the second and fourth lines of each stanza, which, in addition to lending a tighter sense of unity to the poem, gives a hint of that mid-line Anglo-Saxon poetic caesura that all us Beowulf fans love so well. When I asked him about the pattern, he said it’s something Tolkein does, and that he hasn’t seen it anywhere else. So, with all that preamble, enjoy!


The Magi, with sagacious eye,
Afar descried and came to Him
With kingly gifts, on camels high,
Entrammelled by a brightness dim.

They sought a sweet and merry morn
Through lands forlorn and paths unseen,
And night was thrice night overhead
Through deserts red, incarnadine.

Locutioners of stars and signs
From heathen times, now called away
To know a new and tiny God,
Their hearts, though awed, in disarray.

What kept them on their wintry road,
Though doubt forbode and toils were hurled? –
Faith’s inexpugnability,
Which yearns to see a brave new world!

So let the martial lullaby
They heard on high still calm our souls
And rouse our minds for penitence,
Till merriments have made us whole.