Une Dame Avec Merci

I loosely rewrote John Keats “Une dame sans merci” for Divine Mercy Sunday to emphasise how a sacramental marriage, to really partake of God’s salvific plan for the spouses, must be rooted in the quality of mercy:

Middle English (denoting pity): from Old French misericorde, from Latin misericordia, from misericors ‘compassionate’, from the stem of misereri ‘to pity’ + cor, cord- ‘heart’.

The quality of mercy is not strained;

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:

  • William Shakespeare

O What joy to thee, knight at arms

Bosom of the earth lightening

Life comes and quickens

The birds sing.

O what hope for thee fair knight

So hopeful and woeless

The squirrels are at play,

The harvest is full.

I see the lily of St Joseph

The dew is moist with life

Thy cheeks are flush fair rose;

The fast ends.

The lady gently approached

Mellifluous elven child;

Her hair was auburn,

Her foot swan-feathered,

Her eyes of dawn.

I made a garland for our hearts,

She bracelet made for our embrace

She looked at me that fairest dove

With hands like home.

In my spirit her song did bleed

My spirit in me bore me strong

Our narrative did slowly mend

And sing of horizons young.

She gifts me roots as deepest beat,

And though still mild, storm-filled through,

And language danced her meaning wed;


She waited patient-taught

Ventured out beyond weeping shore

Shut-eyed in prayer

To Heaven we implored.

And there our purity did keep

We dreamed upon a silver tide

Of shores beyond time’s lament

Of pastures verdant wide.

We saw young kings

And princesses true

Warriors of the Victim slain,

They cried: “Une Dame avec merci” – will make you whole.

I saw new ships

Flowing from His side

I awoke to whispers near,

Yours lips so sweet and shy…

And this is why I wander near

By your side brightening

For the pledge I quivering make

Holy angels bring.

Une Dame Avec Merci – DCD 2019

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