Br. Francis Maluf, M.I.C.M.
One can detect a definite influence from the priest poet, Father Feeney, in the rhyme and rhythm of the philosopher poet, Dr. Maluf. The former, however, has that Irish flair for painting with words; the latter that Semitic gift for impressing with similitudes. Brother Francis Maluf wrote these fifty-nine poems for leisure. Those of us who know him would have a hard time imagining him sweating for too long over a verse. When he was deeply moved, whether it be by a devotional grace, by wonder at something beautiful to behold, by a gospel story or character, or even by astonishment over some mystery of iniquity, his contemplative heart would seek a means of expression. These poems are the expression of Brother Francis’ contemplative heart.
Table of Contents
On Unholy Gloom
A Song to the tune of “Hannat Maha Ghassan”.
The Church Plaintive
Who Is Next
The New Law
Poets and Philosophers
The Prayer of the Gerasenes
Apostrophe to Saint Joseph
Sentimental Miss Freezer
The Message of Faith
Virtue and Religion
A Translation of “Mon Chant d’Aujourd’hui”
St. Joan of Arc
The Invisible Empire
Poets vs. Lovers
The Poor Man’s Response
The Test Tube — Not for the Child
A Short Biography
On Free Verse
The Lion — Lamb
The Prayer of Saint Francis Xavier
Freedom In The New Age
On Father’s Anniversary — 1959
Saint Thérèse After Holy Communion
Part Two (For the Children)
For the Children
The World Upside Down
Children’s Stories at the Maluf’s before Mass
Mariam as a Child
Peter at Seven
To Angela Maria
Anna Maria at her 4th Birthday
To Marie Rose on her 6th Birthday
Anna Maria to St. Anne
For the Children Again
On Unholy Gloom
When Satan fails to make us bad,
He is most content to keep us sad;
For a heavy heart cannot contain
Buoyant thoughts from the high domain,
And must perforce gravitate
To matters of a lower state.
The Unitarian, Dr. Lee
Is pleased he does not disagree,
With God on points, perhaps two or three.
The Presbyterian, Rev. Shreeve,
Has found himself more bent to believe,
From being a conservative.
But the High Episcopalian, Dunn,
Who is far above the common run,
Agrees with God on all points but one.
What seek ye, brave and valiant knight
Well armed and well prepared?
So much in earnest for a fight
So eager not to be spared.
I am a Christian, he replied
Summoned by Christ’s command,
To free the spot where He suffered and died,
To fight for my Lady’s land.
I wish to be hated where Christ was hated,
And to hear those very same jeers
Which He heard as He died betrayed and berated
By a mob perfidious and fierce.
I desire to die on the sacred hill,
Sion, to set it free,
Where God’s last testament and will
Willed God’s own life to me.
If God were a protestant divine
He never would have made water, wine.
Nor ordered Josue his horn to blow
And crash the walls of Jericho.
Judith would have blame instead
Of glory, for cutting the oppressor’s head.
If God were a protestant divine,
Branches he would have,
But not the vine
And Saul of Tarsus, He would
Never have sent
To Peter for a sacrament.
And who would commend
But for Catholic weakness
Job for patience and Moses for meekness?
A Song to the tune of
“Hannat Maha Ghassan”
O Cause of all our joys!
Queen merciful and kind,
What makes our girls and boys
So precious in your mind?
From Heaven you still have yearned
For this our lonely place;
With all that you have earned
In glory and in grace,
What keeps you so concerned
About our race?
O Mary, chosen one
Eternal Father’s boast,
Mother of God the Son,
Spouse of the Holy Ghost,
Queen raised above the stars,
Exalted, set apart,
What do our wounds and scars
And all our hurts, impart,
What thoughts and what memoirs
To your dear Heart!
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