Still Falls the Rain – Edith Sitwell

In my book of favourite poems, this one was contributed by Sister Josephine Carney, a Sister of Saint Ann.  She was head of the Religion Department when I was teaching Church History in a school run by the Sisters.  I post it here today both for Holy Week and in remembrance of our friendship.

                                          STILL FALLS THE RAIN
                                             
The Raids, 1940.  Night and Dawn

Still falls the Rain–
Dark as the world of man, black as our loss–
Blind as the nineteen hundred and forty nails
Upon the Cross.

Still falls the Rain
With a sound like the pulse of the heart that is changed to the hammer-beat
In the Potter’s Field, and the sound of the impious feet

On the Tomb:
                         Still falls the Rain
In the Field of Blood where the small hopes breed and the human brain
Nurtures its greed, that worm with the brow of Cain.

Still falls the Rain
At the feet of the Starved Man hung upon the cross.
Christ that each day, each night, nails there, have mercy on us–
On Dives and on Lazarus:
Under the rain the sore and the gold are as one.

Still falls the Rain–
Still falls the blood from the Starved Man’s wounded Side:
He bears in His Heart all wounds,–those of the light that died,
The last faint spark
In the self-murdered heart, the wounds of the sad uncomprehending dark,

The wounds of the baited bear,–
The blind and weeping bear whom the keepers beat
On his helpless flesh . . . the tears of the hunted hare.

Still falls the Rain–
Then–O Ile leape up to my God: who pulles me doune–
See, see where Christ’s blood streames in the firmament:
It flows from the Brow we nailed upon the tree
Deep to the dying, to the thirsting heart
That holds the fires of the world,–dark-smirched with pain
As Caesar’s laurel crown.

Then sounds the voice of One who like the heart of man
Was once a child who among beasts has lain–
“Still do I love, still shed my innocent light, my Blood, for thee.”
                                                   –Edith Sitwell

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