. Sibylline Sonnets for Eastertide See an explanation on what Sibyls are here. The Phrygian Sibyl Speaks portrayed with the resurrection banner or the words “Velum templi scindetur” Jesus, again crying out with a loud voice, yielded up his spirit. The veil of the temple was rent in two from top to bottom, and the earth quaked and the rocks were rent, and the graves opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city and appeared to many. ---Matthew 27:50–53 Hear ye the instantaneous victory! The Temple veil slashed downward signifies Christ’s opening wide God’s gracious armory Of alms empowering friends who die to rise. Saints yet unsaved re-enter history, And during forty hours their force outvies Abaddon and his lifeless revelry On earth. A healing purpose underlies Their early resurrection, augury Of needed care the risen Lord applies. Jerusalem their golden hostelry Soon sees disciples mightily baptize Uncounted forebears who with Christ advance As scouts exemplifying His commands. Alive, Christ rears the cross that bought fair freedom: Its flag, the Temple veil forever rent, Showing the King stands with His men, to lead them. The conqueror of death cannot relent, But with His troops triumphantly confronts Sin’s present hell with power beneficent. Armed with His Truth, the faithful soldier blunts Whatever blade foes, fiends, and flesh may flaunt, Well knowing ghastly death was slaughtered once For all, on Golgotha and at the font. My warlike music in the Phrygian mode Sings service that can satisfy all want: Christ, victor, pays more joy than earned or owed, In life beyond the body’s dreams bestowed. . . The Delphian Sibyl whose attributes are the crown of thorns and the cornucopia "The crown of grass, made from plants growing in the field of battle, was never conferred except at a crisis of supreme desperation, and never except by acclamation of the whole army saved and indebted for its preservation to the valor of a single individual." ---Pliny the Elder, Natural History I speak outside the temple, from my rock, Concerning nettles on earth’s battleground Accursed by Adam’s sin that held men bound To labor fruitlessly with field and flock. Christ Jesus rips out hell’s weeds to unblock Good land for cultivation, being crowned Exultantly with thorns and thistles found Crushed under foot, then changed for sweet white stock, Mint, basil, yarrow, phlomis, lime-green spurge, With which figs, peaches, plums, and cherries merge, Crowding the cornucopia I bear To trumpet, “He is risen, and draws nigh: The Lord of all the nations, Judge most high, By conquest as by sonship God’s sole heir.” . Poet’s note on sonnet forms: The Phrygian sibyl employs early kinds of the English sonnet, used by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, inventor of the Shakespearean type. The Delphian sibyl uses the sonnet rhyme scheme most characteristic of French poets. . . Margaret Coats lives in California. She holds a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard University. She has retired from a career of teaching literature, languages, and writing that included considerable work in homeschooling for her own family and others.