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A Crown of Sonnets
Thy Grace by AlvinTEthington
    Crown of Heroic Sonnets Challenge Contest Winner 

See author's notes for definitions and explications
 Category:  Spiritual Poetry
  Posted: January 21, 2010      Views: 5159

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 ALVINTETHINGTON 
IN PRINT 


 ABOUT
ALVINTETHINGTON 

Alvin Thomas Ethington is a staged playwright, a published author, and a professional reviewer. He has been paid to review works (e. g. he reviewed Mary Jo Weaver's widely used college textbook Introduction to Christianity, second edition, - more...

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I.

Thy grace has been a constant source of love;
When I was in the womb Thou knewest me.
Thou glanced upon me from Thy throne above;
My mother's body, Thou, and I were three.

The curse of Eve in childbirth she endured
While constantly beseeching Thee, her Lord.
For pangs of pain she felt, there was no cure,
But with Thy will, she was of one accord.

She crushed that serpent underneath her foot.
Thou gavest my own father his desire,
For now an infant son was soon afoot.
His invocations had been heard with fire.

For Thou didst set my parents' faith aflame.
They finally produced a healthy son.
My mother's barrenness was not to blame;
The eight year battle had been fought and won.

So thus began the story of my own--
of faith, of love, of labor, and of home.

II.

Of faith, of love, of labor and of home--
Thus were my infancy and childhood spent.
Thy presence promised I was not alone.
Although the taunts were mean, I was not bent.

With Thee, I walked in spirit, proud and tall--
Because I stayed so close to Thee in prayer.
I knew that Thou, my Lord, were all in all.
I knew Thy justice would be kind and fair;

That wicked ones would perish at the end
And time would stand so still I could relive
A wretched childhood but this time with friends;
For what I needed Thou wouldst freely give.

Abandonment Thy strength would not allow--
Where there were total strangers I knew not.
I realized that Thou hadst made a vow--
That by the Devil I would not be caught.

My horrid childhood Thou and I survived;
When I attained majority I thrived.

III.

When I attained majority I thrived
Amidst majestic lofty mountain peaks.
My soul completely lived; I was revived.
I found relief in Thee for which one seeks.

Thou didst create the heavens and the earth;
No matter where I went, there Thou wert found--
Assuring me of my own soul's self-worth;
Thou wert above the sky and underground.

My winters I spent studying Thy Word;
Both Jesus Christ, my Lord, and Scripture, too.
I knew my prayers to Thee were always heard;
I read the Holy Torah of the Jews--

Therein I found a loving Father God;
Yet Jews their conquerors did not respect.
Because they kept apart, they were thought odd--
To be a chosen people was suspect.

Yet from the Jews salvation was to come--
An heir would cure the blind, the deaf, and dumb.

IV.

An heir would cure the blind, the deaf, and dumb,
Descended from adulterers and whores;
Although the demons to our Lord succumbed--
His works were those of legend and of lore.

His own kin was a Moabite named Ruth,
Yet from Pure Holy Virgin's womb He sprung.
Saint Mary bore a witness to the Truth;
She saw upon a wooden cross He hung.

His suffering was for the Jew and Greek,
For Roman soldiers and centurions;
Not ever was He mild or meek or weak,
Although He died for paupers and peons.

But death could not exert a hold on Him;
There was no tomb that could contain the Christ.
Arising from the grave He conquered sin;
His sacrifice for everyone sufficed.

Like me, He was rejected and despised;
By His complete love I was quite surprised.

V.

By His complete love I was quite surprised;
For unto prayers of foreigners devout,
He listened and their earnest needs surmised;
Then they responded with a joyous shout.

Confucians and the Daoists honor God
In nature and society refined.
God's love for everyone is not thought odd--
For by it grace and truth are so defined.

The ways of India seek God as well--
The Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and the Jains--
In prayer and meditation would they dwell;
Petition to the Lord is never vain.

Although we have all taken diverse paths
Thy love will always calm my troubled heart
I know we shall not once endure Thy wrath;
From Thee, we shall not once be cast apart.

Thou carest for the sparrow in the dust;
Thou lovest base souls treated with disgust.

VI.

Thou lovest base souls treated with disgust--
Their psyches were left to disintegrate;
They called them sinful, mad, and full of lust--
Although assistance could reintegrate.

The rich denied them shelter, clothing, food;
They were just homeless urchins, boys and girls--
The rich forgot that Christ died on the rood.
Yet they lived like nobility--like earls.

Outside the hungry begged for sustenance;
I wanted an enjoyable event.
The noble, proud, and rich viewed me askance;
I cared not how much they desired to vent.

I told youth of our Lord upon the cross,
Of the kerygma and the didache--
For us He suffered devastating loss,
So that our minds and souls would not decay.

They listened as they took small bites and sups;
I was prepared to tell them of Christ's cup.

VII.

I was prepared to tell them of Christ's cup.
Reviled, no one knew He was God unveiled--
He was like them, born nothing but a pup;
Yet over sepulchre our Lord prevailed.

A child was born to Mary and her spouse
in Bethlehem. They were without relief--
In poverty, without a home or house,
For all they owned was a sincere belief.

The Virgin knew she was a surrogate
Her Son possessed the Lord's Messiahship
His words and thoughts and deeds would propagate--
God's grace and mercy would be on all lips.

He suffered scourging and was killed with thieves--
But for all those believing in the Truth,
He offered them such love and a reprieve.
No longer were most people so aloof.

As symbolized by Friend, the Lamb, and Dove
Thy grace has been a constant source of Love.
Crown of Heroic Sonnets Challenge
Contest Winner

Recognized

Author Notes
A crown of sonnets is a series of seven sonnets, each with the rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh ii. The whole work includes an inclusio--the first and last lines of the entire work are identical. Also the last line of each individual sonnet becomes the first line of the subsequent sonnet. This is the only exception to the rule that no rhyme may be repeated.

This is written, as is customary, in iambic pentameter. All polysyllabic words have been checked for proper accents (peon, diverse, and suspect have been given their alternative pronunciations, which are found in the Merriam-Webster dictionaries); if you, gentle reader, find a mistake, please tell me. Sometimes the stress falls oddly on monosyllabic words, such as the definite and indefinite articles and prepositions. To certain dialects of English, this may sound odd, but this is written with overtones of the American South and antiquated English, so please, if you do scan this work, keep that in mind. Also, this sometimes unusual accentual pattern inhibits the lilting tone extremely strict meter can have.

Since the religious and literary reference are numerous, I have chosen not to give sources or citations. If you, gentle reader, are concerned about my knowledge of a particular word, idea, phrase, or concept, please PM me and I shall be more than happy to answer you. I hope, for now, the work can stand on its own.

The sonnet should have a theme (mine is all humanity's relationship with God), be addressed to one person (mine is God, obviously), and each individual sonnet should cover one aspect of that theme.

I hope you enjoy reading it. It took me three months to write it.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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