‘I See His Blood Upon a Rose’ is a poem in the mystical tradition, expressing the intensity of Plunkett’s Christian faith. These simple verses testify to the presence of the divine in the world, reading in nature the iconography of the crucifixion. At the centre of the poem lies the conviction that Christ’s suffering will never be forgotten, as long as God’s word remains the bedrock of existence. Here the deeply personal becomes universal through an unworldly directness of address. Allan Bevan coveys the poem with beautiful music.
I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.
I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice-and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.
All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.
Joseph Plunkett (1873-1916)
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