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Poems – Sr Alacoque Brien

Poems of:
Sr Katy van Wyk:

1. The Call
2. In the Stillness…
3. It is only in Darkness…
4. In Praise of One…
Sr Mary McCreath
Sr Alacoque Brien
(1877 – 1953)


Hymn in Honour of Saint Louis Bertrand OP

– 1896

Come, Children of St Dominic to-day in joyful praise
Of Dominic’s worthy son St Louis your hearts and voices raise.
Ye Catholics of sunny Spain with us in song unite
It was in your nice Southern land, that first he saw the light.
While in the cradle still he lay, his heart to God was give’n,
In Boyhood’s careless days his thoughts were always turned to Heaven.
Behold in early youth he joined St Dominic’s white robed band;
And soon he bore the Gospel’s truth far off to Western land.

The poisoned bowl, the risk of life, nothing could quench his fire.
To win all souls for God and Heav’n, this was his sole desire
And thus when life’s last hour drew near, he heard the Master’s word:
“Come, faithful servant, enter in the glory of thy Lord!”




Take Thou my life – my little life
And make it full of Thee
And prune with Thy unsparing knife
All that there is of me.

Take Thou my talents every one,
Be they or great or small,
For Thy dear glory not my own
Lord, take and use them all.

Take Thou my heart, my worthless heart,
That all would scorn but Thee
And let it have in Thine a part
Thine ever let it be.

What e’er I have thou gavest me
Nought have I that is mine
Then take my life, my love, my all
And make me only Thine.


To Her only Son

O Little Son, into whose azure eyes—
I gaze and ever find with sweet surprise
The whiteness of thy spirit shames the snow
Has left a shining impress on thy brow.
Strayed earthward, How my happy, happy heart
In spring, since thou did’st come to form a part
In Holy Writ, scarce understood by me,
Their meaning written on thy brow I see

God loved the world and gave – “His only Son”.
Thy coming hath made plainer, little one,
Of life and home. The mystery of those words
Makes music like the carols of the birds
Thy smile doth seem a bit of Heaven’s bliss
Just newly driven, and an Angel’s kiss
New depths of love, O little son, God-given
A reflex of the smiling summer heaver

South African Catholic Magazine, 1911


Love’s Impotence

He called it “strong as death to work its will”.
Sorrow’s wild cry? How often do we seek
Of all the show’rs that course adown the cheek
And ne’er so weak as when we fain would prove
Of love’s dire helplessness, and prayer can move
Of suffering from hearts we love. Thus God
Maketh love’s impotence love’s chastening rod.
A mighty hand to draw the rankling thorn

“Lord if Thou Wilt, Thou Canst make me Clean.”

Covered with sin’s leprosy,
Jesus! Lord! I come to Thee,
As of old the outcast came,
Drawn by Thy great Mercy’s fame,
Crying in his rags and shame:
“Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me Clean.”

On my poor unsightly soul
Not one spot is clean and whole;
Men its loathsomeness would spurn,
And in horror from me turn,
Could they its foul wounds discern,
“Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me Clean.”

At Thy feet woman knelt;
Scornful hearts no pity felt,
Thy Heart’s tender love was such
Thou didst bear her tainted touch.
“Much she loves; forgiven is much.
Lord, Thou didst will, and she was made Clean.”

Much I’ve sinned and little loved,
Yet be Thou to pity moved.
Wilt Thou me alone disdain?
Jesus! must I plead in vain?
Speak Thy potent word again:
Say but, “I will it. Be thou made Clean.”



Sweet star-blossom with heart of gold Little white marguerite!
Nestling close to Love’s Prison Hold,
Dying at Jesus’ Feet.

I gaze upon you and hot tears flow,
While memories pure and sweet
Steal o’er my soul of the Long Ago,
And another white Marguerite.

Would she have sullied her petals of snow,
Or wilted in passion’s hear?
God only knoweth, but this I know
He gathered my Marguerite.