tlf news Vol. xvii #4 December, 1996

The Child Rose

Crystal, gold and rose. Dawn in Palestine.
Three kings emerge from adoring a king,
a flower-child emitting a light
so divine that ox and mule glow human.

Balthazar muses, his gaze on the star
that guides them above. Gaspar dreams
on the sacred vision. Melchior sees
that vision extend to the ends of the earth.

The beasts of burden shake dust from necks
covered with silks and metals. Brisk
morning air refreshes lips of camels
damp with thanks, with blue and dew.

The wise beard's meditations mark
time for crests the color of honey,
the agile trot of Arabian steeds,
the white laughter of ebony slaves.

Where did they come from to this Epiphany?
From Persia? From Egypt? From India? It's vain
to speculate. They came from the Light, from the Day,
from Love. Useless to worry yourself, Tertullian.

They touched release from endless captivity,
and brushed on the advent of rare treasure.
They carried the symbol of triple mystery,
bearing their gold, their frankincense and myrrh.

Reaching the outskirts of Bethlehem
the cortège pauses. What for? Because
a charming little girl of extraordinary beauty,
a vision of daydreams and faith, appears.

"Oh Kings," she says. "I'm only a child
but I heard the song of my neighbors the shepherds,
and while I was playing in the meadow flowers
I spied your regal cortège pass by.

I know that Jesus of Nazareth is born,
and that's why the world is bursting with joy.
I know he's a flower so lovely and good
that he makes the sun sunnier, the honey more honey.

It isn't day yet... Where is the stable?
Lend me the star to lead me there.
Don't be afraid that the devil will douse it;
my eyes will keep watch on it all of the way."

The magi were silent. But the star responded,
and glowing still brighter, it winked and turned back
toward Bethlehem, and guided the child
to the door of the stable, to the cradle of Jesus.

She stood there face-to-face with the infant,
blinded by the glow of God's fire in his eyes.
She stood there frozen and speechless. She paled
for she had nothing to give in return.

The mother looked down on her morning-star child,
the ox and the mule lent their warmth to the crib,
the smile of the saintly old carpenter beamed
and the little girl stood there trembling with love.

There was gold about in regal coffers,
perfume in fine-wrought exotic flasks,
incense in burners of gold and silver,
and cheeses, and flowers, and honey from the hive.

She blushed and her face turned a bright rosy red
in the glow of the gaze of the burning babe.
What did she have to give but herself?
What could she offer the new-born Lord?

Would she could tender the magical star,
the star of Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar.

A sprite passing by felt the yearning in her heart,
a sprite who loved her sprang to work;
and petal by petal she morphed to a rose,
a rose more beautiful than those of Sharon.

The metamorphosis was holy that day.
It meant the girl could offer her Lord --
who was grateful to her and smiled
in the song of that Epiphany --
her body now petals, now perfume her soul.

-Rubén Darío

From all of us at teatro la fragua:

May your Christmas be filled
with peace and joy;
and may you help bring that peace
to this world of darkness in the new year.

To contribute to the work of teatro la fragua :

Donate Online

Donate By Phone

Donate By Mail

Click here to make an online Credit Card Contribution.  All online donations are secured by GeoTrust for the utmost online security available today.

Call us from within the United States at 1-800-325-9924 and ask for the Development Office.

 Send your check payable to teatro la fragua to:

teatro la fragua

Jesuit Development Office

4517 West Pine Boulevard.

Saint Louis, MO 63108-2101

Return to the index of tlf news

Return to the home page of tlf

Contact teatro la fragua

Copyright © 1998 por teatro la fragua