The Lost Nashotah House Poems (Part 2)

Snow clings to the low-hung branches that crowd the wooded campus. It’s sunny this Saturday morning, and a few families and students trekked it through the snow to morning Mass, their breath making small cloud puffs in the cold air. The last of the final exegesis and systematic theology papers have been handed in, the last of the Hebrew and Greek finals have been conquered, and there is a fresh ruddiness and well-earned pride in the student body.

It’s times like these that call for poetry, poetry like the well-crafted verse of the Rev. Klose, who attended Nashotah House many years ago. Nathaniel Kidd, a son of the house, unearthed them from the deep archives of our massive library. The Rev. Klose penned and published these fine poems about Nashotah’s cloistered life when he was a student here at the House, and I am honored to share them with our beloved families and friends. Today’s selection from the Lost Nashotah House Poems are about the forests of Nashotah and the Holy Eucharist, celebrated every day on campus for 170 years. Print these fine poems out before you read them. Wait for a quiet moment, and savor them. And may the end of your Advent waiting and hope be blessed with the joy of Christ’s Incarnation.

The Daily Eucharist

Early in the morning
When it’s cold and damp and chill
The brothers shake off sleep
And rise against their will;
Silently they file
In twos, or threes, or one,
Into the upper chapel
Waiting there alone
Until the server enters
With taper all alight
To set the candles glowing
And to make the altar bright
As the waning shadows linger
From the fast departing night.
And with all assembled
And preparations read
They wait the sacred moment
When the holy words are said
That change into Christ’s Body
The plain, unleavened bread,
And the wine within the chalice
His living Blood and red.
Once more the sacred Mystery—
The living Christ, has come
To dwell upon the altar,
His earthly seat and throne;
And the Sacrifice is offered
That God and man be one,
When early in the morning
The brothers shake off sleep
To enter in the chapel
Their sacred tryst to keep.

Nashotah Woods

As I walk the woodland trail
From cloistered battlements of prayer
I see a light, unearthly rare
Like that which shone from Holy Grail—
Over woodland, field and stream
As though I walked within a dream.
Aye, on every blade of grass
It trembles, quivers as I pass,
I see it dancing all around
On this blessed, holy ground.
Strangle, unearthly to behold,
Like as Merlin saw of old.
O Light ineffable, sublime,
Shining from angelic clime
As we walk upon the trail
That leads to battlements of prayer,
After we have wrestled there,
Grant that one of us may be
Found worthy in Thy sight to see
At least the light behind the veil
That shines with the Holy Grail!

tblanski

About tblanski

Tyler Blanski (tylerblanski.com) is a housepainter, author and musician who lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is 29 years old, and dedicated to discovering Christ’s activity in our lives—whether it’s our relationships, our imaginations, or our jobs. He wants to help build God’s Kingdom, brick by brick. He is the author of "Mud & Poetry: Love, Sex, and the Sacred" (Upper Room Books, 2010). Zondervan just published his new book "When Donkeys Talk," a holy pilgrimage into an Anglican understanding of the sacraments. He blogs at: www.holyrenaissance.com