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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Poem: "A Song for Simeon" by T.S. Eliot

Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and
The winter sun creeps by the snow hills;
The stubborn season has made stand.
My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards he dead land.

         Grant us thy peace.
         I have walked many years in this city,
Kept faith and fast, provided for the poor,
         Have given and taken honour and ease.
         There went never any rejected from my door.

         Who shall remember my house, where shall live my
children’s children
When the time of sorrow is come?
They will take to the goat’s path, and the fox’s home,
Fleeing from foreign faces and the foreign swords.

Before the time of cords and scourges and lamentation
Grant us thy peace.
Before the stations of the mountain of desolation,
Before the certain hour of maternal sorrow,
Now at this birth season of decease,
Let the Infant, the still unspeaking and unspoken Word,
Grant Israel’s consolation
To one who has eighty years and no to-morrow,

         According to thy word.
         They shall praise Thee and suffer in every generation
         With glory and derision,
         Light upon light, mounting the saints’ stair.
         Not for me the martyrdom, the ecstasy of thought
and prayer,
Not for me the ultimate vision.
Grant me thy peace.
(And a sword shall pierce thy heart,
Thine also).
I am tired with my own life and the lives of those
after me,
I am dying in my own death and the deaths of those
after me.
Let thy servant depart,

Having seen thy salvation.


  1. Thank you for posting this. It provides such a powerful context for that simple, often-quoted, but maybe equally often misunderstood, statement by Simeon. It makes the whole gospel story seem real, and rich in its humanity. Or rather, it helps us see how real the story is.

    1. Thanks. I find this simply beautiful and inspiring. I've always love those transitional figures of Simeon and Anna.