The Green Blade Riseth

Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid him, Love whom men had slain,
Thinking he would never wake to life again.
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain.
Quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,
With a touch Thou callest us to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

~ John MacLeod Campbell (1872-1958)

The poetry here is not unexceptionable.  But it has its good moments.  And, as with many poems, it is transformed by its tune–in this case, an old French carol.

Advertisements

About middlingpoet

From the Gawain poet to Rainer Maria Rilke: I love traditional poetry.
This entry was posted in Easter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Green Blade Riseth

  1. After scanning each line to figure out the feet and meter, I felt a little off balance. At the same time, the metaphor is effective; especially so with winter wheat.

    I can see how music would improve this work, for maybe it fills in any gaps in the overall “feel” or effect.

  2. middlingpoet says:

    To be honest, I doctored these verses a bit. Two of the lines were badly off-meter in the original. Even so, the third line of every stanza is still awkward. I suspect (though I don’t know) that the words were specifically written for the tune, since the tune demands the altered stress patterns in those third lines. They work beautifully when sung; they just lose some of their paper, unfortunately, on paper.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s