On this Eve of the beautiful Feast of Corpus Christi, I share with you a little poem (hymn) from my great aunt’s First Communion prayer book. (circa 1903)
I first read it many years ago, and found it so charming. My aunt was a contemporary of St. Therese, (having been born in 1890.) I like to imagine that Therese may have read this little poem, or at least one like it.
I pray that tomorrow, each of us will rejoice, as in the last stanza of this poem: What happiness is like to this?
May we receive the Sweet Kiss of Jesus as though it were both our First, and our Last, here on this earth!
O Happy Flowers! O Happy Flowers!
How quietly for hours and hours,
In dead of night, in cheerful day,
Close to my own dear Lord you stay,
Until you gently fade away.
O Happy Flowers! What would I give
In your sweet place all day to live,
And then to die, my service o’er,
Softly as you do, at His door.
O Happy Flowers!
O Happy LIghts! O Happy Lights!
Watching my Jesus livelong nights!
How close you cluster round His throne,
Dying so meekly one by one,
As each its faithful watch has done.
Could I with you but take my turn,
And burn with love of Him, and burn
Till love had wasted me, like you,
Sweet lights! What better could I do?
O Happy Lights!
O Happy Pyx! O Happy Pyx!
Where Jesus doth His dwelling fix,
O little palace dear and bright,
Where He, who is the world’s true light
Spends all the day and stays all night,
Ah! If my heart could only be
A little home for Him like thee,
Such fires my happy soul would move,
I could not help but die of love!
O Happy Pyx!
O Pyx and Lights, and Flowers! but I
Through envy of you will not die;
Nay, happy things! What will you do,
Since I am better off than you.
The whole day long, the whole night through,
For Jesus gives Himself to me,
So sweetly and so utterly,
By rights long since I should have died
For love of Jesus Crucified.
O happy soul!
My happy soul! My happy soul!
How shall I then my love control?
O sweet Communion! Feast of bliss!
When the dear Host my tongue doth kiss.
What happiness is like to this?
Oh heaven, I think, must be always
Quite like a First Communion Day,
With love so sweet and joy so strange,
Only that heaven will never change
My happy soul!