Sonnets for Heaven's Queen

A Notre Dame de Paris

Ecrit le 15 avril 2019, durant que l’incendie avait lieu.

Vierge vénérable, dans les temps d’autrefois,
De l’amour de ton Fils, dans nos cœurs nous brulâmes.
En tes saints lieus chacun t’apportait une flamme,
Dans ces beaux jours d’antan, printemps de notre foi.

Nous prêtâmes l’oreille à la divine voix
De Dieu dans son église, et toi, Reine sans blâme,
Que le monde vénère et les anges proclament,
Tu guidas doucement ton peuple dans ta voie.

Hélas, comme un corbeau, déjà la nuit descend
Sur notre siècle de terreur et de sang,
Le Fleuron de Paris rayé de notre Histoire.

Ma Mère, donne-nous de transformer en fleurs,
A remettre à tes pieds, nos plaintes et nos pleurs,
Afin de préparer l’autel de ta victoire.

Author’s Translation

Virgin most venerable, in the olden times of yesteryear,
For love of your Son, we burned within our hearts.
Each carried a torch into your shrines,
In those fine days of yore, the springtime of our faith.

We gave ear to the divine voice
Of God in his Church, and you, Queen without sin,
Whom the world praises and angels proclaim,
You gently guided your people in your path.

Alas, already the night descends like a raven
On our century of terror and blood,
The Jewel of Paris is erased from our history.

My Mother, give us to turn into flowers,
To be placed at your feet, our cries and our weeping,
That we may prepare the altar of your victory.

Author’s Note

I would like to express my profound gratitude to Monsieur ALBERT DURANT of the DISEURS DE BEAUX TEXTES whose fine performance of “A Notre Dame de Paris” has given wings to a poem that was meant to soar. The art of the diseur—or professional declaimer of verse—is vital to the continuation of traditional lyric poetry. For this reason, we wish Monsieur Durant and the Diseurs de Beaux Textes every good fortune as the importance of la poésie dite (spoken poetry) continues to be recognized throughout the world.

Joseph Charles MacKenzie

June 23, 2019

Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet of New Mexico. He is First Place winner of the Scottish International Poetry Competition (Times Literary Supplement, Jan 27, 2017) and a Pushcart Prize nominee. His verses have appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), US News and World Report, Google News, and many other outlets. He writes for Trinacria (New York) and the Society of Classical Poets (New York).

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