This is a little late, I know. However, I wanted to share the poem [ I am a big fan of John Donne], and a link to another wonderful blog by A Clerk of Oxford, as well as few other bits and bobs!
Good Friday this year fell on the same day as Lady’s Day- that is, the feast day of the Annunciation. This occurrence happens only a few times each century and the next time will be 2157.. so a bit of a wait for the next one!
Many early Christian scholars, such as, Augustine, and even as early as Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD), believed, that Jesus the Christ died- that was crucified on the same day, i.e his day of creation, March 25th. His life therefore became a perfect circle.
‘He is believed to have been conceived on the 25th of March, upon which day also he suffered; so the womb of the Virgin, in which he was conceived, where no one of mortals was begotten, corresponds to the new grave in which he was buried, wherein was never man laid, neither before him nor since.‘
So even in the Christian calendar, March 25th becomes a time of [re]birth, of the solar,[sun/son] the lunar and the natural awaking of the earth.
For many Pagans , it marks the spring equinox; Fertility is apparent, new life is abundant. the light returns.
In the Northern hemisphere, the darkness of the winter months becomes a passing memory with the return of the sun there is the hope of sunshine, and of of warmth. As the earth awakes the greenery returns, there is the sowing of seeds, the birth of the the young, including the lamb that Christians associate with Easter, The lamb of God and for those in the Jewish faith, the Hag HaPesach the Jewish Paschal lamb.
For many non Christians, Pagans of course, there is of course the Hare, or Rabbit, the fullfy Bunny – chocolate and other wise. With it’s promise of ‘abundance’- chocolate and otherwise and of course, life.
Wynter wakeneth al my care nou this leues waxeth bare Ofte y sike ant mourne sare When hit cometh in my thoht Of this worldes joie hou hit geth al to noht.THE FABLED HARE (Maddy Prior - based on a "spell" by Isobel Gowdie 1662)
So March 25th, God Friday, Lady’s Day, the Spring Equinox, it is the beginning and the end; Perhaps once could call it a Christian Ouroboros. . .
And so to that poem of John Donne
Upon the Annunciation and Passion Falling upon One Day
Tamely, frail body, abstain today; today
My soul eats twice, Christ hither and away.
She sees Him man, so like God made in this,
That of them both a circle emblem is,
Whose first and last concur; this doubtful day
Of feast or fast, Christ came, and went away.
She sees Him nothing twice at once, who’s all;
She sees a Cedar plant itself and fall,
Her Maker put to making, and the head
Of life at once not yet alive, yet dead;
She sees at once the virgin mother stay
Reclused at home, public at Golgotha;
Sad and rejoiced she’s seen at once, and seen
At almost fifty and at scarce fifteen;
At once a Son is promised her, and gone;
Gabriel gives Christ to her, He her to John;
Not fully a mother, she’s in orbity,
At once receiver and the legacy.
All this, and all between, this day hath shown,
The abridgement of Christ’s story, which makes one
(As in plain maps, the furthest west is east)
Of the Angel’s Ave and Consummatum est.
How well the Church, God’s court of faculties,
Deals in some times and seldom joining these!
As by the self-fixed Pole we never do
Direct our course, but the next star thereto,
Which shows where the other is, and which we say
(Because it strays not far) doth never stray,
So God by His Church, nearest to Him, we know
And stand firm, if we by her motion go.
His Spirit, as His fiery pillar doth
Lead, and His Church, as cloud, to one end both.
This Church, by letting these days join, hath shown
Death and conception in mankind is one:
Or ‘twas in Him the same humility
That He would be a man, and leave to be:
Or as creation He had made, as God,
With the last judgment but one period,
His imitating Spouse would join in one
Manhood’s extremes: He shall come, He is gone:
Or as though one blood-drop, which thence did fall,
Accepted, would have served, He yet shed all,
Or as though the least of His pains, deeds, or words,
Would busy a life, she all this day affords;
This treasure then, in gross, my soul uplay,
And in my life retail it every day.
So it is now Spring – yet also here in the British Isles, official Summertime- well it is on Saturday night/Sunday morning when the clocks spring forward one hour…
So here is a Blake’s Spring – complete with lambs and mother and child.. enjoy [more about Blake on a later date ]