This poem appears in the Fall 2016 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.
St. Robert Southwell † 21 February 1595
Here is the promise God gave me this morning
early when the sun rose from his grave
while Topcliffe went about the town suborning
new witnesses—lord, lady, nurse, and knave:
Just as this growing golden disk ascending
cannot be held back by the bonds of night,
so is the present age of darkness ending:
When you awake again, all will be bright.
For finally your years-long imitation
of Christ through agony of cell and rack—
the Herod-queen, the cruel interrogation—
comes to a close in crucifixion’s black,
and heavenward your passion-proven ghost
ascends, a golden lifting of the Host.
Mark Amorose’s poems have appeared in Chronicles, First Things, Measure, and St. Austin Review, among other publications. His book In the Saguaro Forest collects sixty-four of his sonnets and lyrics.