OUR SLAVIC POPE
God’s bell the Conclave's petty strife has stilled :
Its mighty tone
Brings news of Slavic hope fulfilled –
The Papal Throne !
Pope who will not – Italian-like – take fright
But, brave as God himself, stand and give fight :
His world – but dust !
Made radiant by the Word, the Pontiff's face –
A torch that guides
The faithful swarming towards that lighted place
Where God resides.
Obedient to his prayer and his command,
Not only men,
But, if he wills, the sun itself will stand :
Power beyond ken !
Now he approaches, he whose hand constrains
Globe – spanning forces –
He whose word turns back along our veins
The blood that courses.
Divine enlightenment, a mounting spate
Informs mankind ;
To think a thought therein is to create –
Power of the mind !
To bear our load – this world by God designed –
That power we need :
Our Slavic Pope, brother to all mankind,
Is there to lead !
With balm from all the world, our souls’ torment
Is soothed by him ;
About his flower-decked throne a regiment
Love he dispenses as great powers today
Distribute arms ;
With sacramental power, his sole array,
The world he charms !
His word, like dove set free, takes instant flight,
The news proclaims :
That yet the Holy Spirit sheds its light,
Devotion claims !
The heavens above him open wide their gates,
While he, alone,
Sits on his throne and humbly re-creates
Both Earth and Throne !
Among the nations, with a brother’s love,
He spreads the word :
Man must, to reach his final goal above,
Brave fire and sword.
The sacramental power of realms untold
His willing slave ;
Power that the soul of man may yet behold
Before the grave !
From the world’s wounds he laves corruption’s blight,
The maggots teeming ;
Health he restores, fanning our love alight,
The world redeeming.
Sweeps out our churches, makes the portals gleam –
So that each one
May see his God within Creation’s scheme,
Bright as the sun !
Written in 1848.
English translation by Noel Clark.