"Epiphany" from the Cologne School.An Excerpt of Jack DesBois’s Western Star for Epiphany: January 6, 2022 The Society January 6, 2022 Beauty, Culture, Music, Poetry, Song Lyrics 4 Comments . . An Excerpt from The Western Star for Epiphany, January 6, 2022 The road stretched out forever in the morning, giving Balthazar plenty of time and space for thought. The meanderings of his mind returned to that strange gift old Caspar meant to give in honor of the newborn king of kings. The gift of death! It made no sense to him, and so he opened wide his mouth to protest once again his friend’s peculiar choice. But ere he had a chance to say a word, old Caspar, eyes aglint, slipped into song: . Oh, Myrrh is mine, and Gold is thine, And Frankincense for thee; Three precious things from noble kings, From gilded monarchs three, We give to him the Seraphim Regard with loving sight; But will he take to our mistake In giving what is right? Thy Frankincense is worth mere pence To what he giveth us; Thy glistening Gold is dull and old, As pretty as the dust; My bitter Myrrh, though rare and pure, He, rarer, purer still, Gives up his love from high above And hands to us his will. Then why do we in piety Present him toys in vain? We sure cannot with items bought Relieve him of his pain. But one thing we can do with three Small tokens stained with thrift, Forever drawn to ponder on The glory of his gift. . “You do not understand my offering,” old Caspar simply stated, “nor I yours. What use is frivolous frankincense to one of selfless spirit, born in purity?” . . Jack DesBois is a singer, actor, and storyteller. He gives annual Epiphany season performances of The Western Star, which he wrote in 2016. He self-published a chapbook of short poems in 2018. As a singer, Jack has had the good fortune to solo in several of the great works of Baroque Oratorio, including Handel’s Messiah (Bass) and Esther (Haman) and J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (Jesus). Jack lives in Topsfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 4 Responses Margaret Coats January 6, 2022 Lovely song with internal rhymes, and focusing unexpectedly on the lack of value in the gifts. Your character voice for a wise old man works well in presenting Caspar’s point of view. Reply Jack DesBois January 6, 2022 Thank you, Margaret. St Matthew tells us merely what the gifts were (among the very few Biblical details from the Wise Men’s story), leaving us to wonder: of all possible gifts, why those? That 2,000-year tradition of pondering the gifts and their meaning has been far more valuable to Christendom than the items themselves could ever have been. Caspar, the old man, was quite fun to write. In addition to his wisdom, the listener discovers upon meeting him that he is a very unusual monarch – king of his solitary hut in the woods and the woodshed out back. Balthazar (whom the narrative follows primarily, and who often brings my own voice to the poem) does not know what to make of him. Reply Mike Bryant January 6, 2022 Jack, I love the lyrics, the poetry, the thoughtfulness…but most of all… you have a tremendous voice. Jack DesBois January 6, 2022 Thanks, Mike! I had to do without my singing voice this Christmas season due to a bout with Covid, but the phlegm has pretty much cleared now, and I’m looking forward to getting my vocal chops back into shape. Churches don’t want to host Western Star performances these days, but I’m planning a house performance for my family once the voice is back to full strength. (By the way, I found one of the most effective treatements for my Covid was nebulizing with hydrogen peroxide: http://doctoryourself.com/omns/v17n13.shtml – it really helped keep everything moving in my head and chest, speeding up my recovery.) Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.