Catholic Poetry: “Newman,” by George N. Shuster


Men found you subtle, master, blending skeins

Of taut silk thinking with the golden weave

Prayer finds in God. A stormy epoch’s eve

Stirred your vast silence, till in flaming strains

You spoke glory. Yet deeper radiance gains

Who, listening close, can still the note perceive

That fires your music’s heart– a note to grieve

And gladden, bred of the desert and swift rains.

Beacon of mystery! Soul’s eagle, whose eye

Tirelessly saw through earth’s hoar shadowings

The Undimmed Sun! With you these new years cry

For lighted ways and the dear morning’s dew.

Hearing your voice, we feebly scan the wings

That made the peaks of sainthood plain to you.

Joyce Kilmer’s Anthology of Catholic Poets (New York: Liveright, 1939), 382-383.

NOTE: George Nauman Shuster (1894-1977) was an author, academic and public servant who served as Editor of the lay Catholic journal Commonweal during the 1930’s, and was President of New York’s Hunter College from 1938 to 1960. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and received his doctorate in English from Columbia University.

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