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Australian poem: 2008 series #9 — A B Paterson "The Angel’s Kiss"

21 Mar

Here is a bit of Victoriana from the pen of the author of “The Man from Snowy River”, and anything less like is hard to imagine. To each age its taste, I guess.

Banjo_Patterson_Campsite

Banjo Paterson (right) camping

 

The Angel’s Kiss

By A. B. Paterson

 

An angel stood beside the bed

Where lay the living and the dead.

 

He gave the mother — her who died —

A kiss that Christ the Crucified

 

Had sent to greet the weary soul

When, worn and faint, it reached its goal.

 

He gave the infant kisses twain,

One on the breast, one on the brain.

 

“Go forth into the world,” he said,

“With blessings on your heart and head,

 

“For God, who ruleth righteously,

Hath ordered that to such as be

 

“From birth deprived of mother’s love,

I bring His blessing from above;

 

“But if the mother’s life He spare

Then she is made God’s messenger

 

“To kiss and pray that heart and brain

May go through life without a stain.”

 

The infant moved towards the light,

The angel spread his wings in flight.

 

But each man carries to his grave

The kisses that in hopes to save

The angel or his mother gave.

 

Yes, there are a few vile rhymes there… 

He gave the infant kisses twain,

One on the breast, one on the brain.

Somewhat risible by any standards, I’m afraid; of a piece with the illustration below, though I enjoy the irony of its source.

angels-kiss



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Comments Off on Australian poem: 2008 series #9 — A B Paterson "The Angel’s Kiss"

Posted by on March 21, 2008 in Australia, nostalgia, OzLit, poets and poetry

 

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