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Spideog Mhuire means robin of (Virgin) Mary


(image from The Sherborne Missal, c1400)


At Eucharist a robin, with its song,

drowns out the Gloria and brings to life

a sermon.  The Spatzenmesse, miracle

of Mozart, somehow cannot bless

the congregation more than this small bird,

who had significance in the lives of saints.


Kentigern and Servanus were the saints:

the former (Mungo) restored a robin’s song,

after his peers tortured and killed the bird.

The bishop had mourned its loss of life.

Some other holy men had cause to bless

robins.  In Brittany, a miracle


occurred when monks needed a miracle;

a robin brought a sheaf of wheat to saints,

who’d ploughed, hoping that Nature would then bless

them with a harvest.  They’d brought no seed. Song

reminded them there would have been no life,

nor church for them, by Autumn, save for that bird.


At the Nativity, one little bird

shielded the Christ child, in a miracle,

preserving from immolation His life

and singeing its own breast.  Honoured by saints

for perching on the cross, singing its song,

removing thorns, thus being pierced.  We bless


it for blushing in deference.  To bless

The Holy Family’s footsteps, this tiny bird

covered their tracks, filling their Flight with song:

their salvation a kind of miracle.

And when it warbles with the choir, saints

sense affirmation of eternal life.


God’s holy men-the robin and wren-give life

to small beginnings; prosper and bless;

cheer in dark days of winter all the saints,

past and present, and the fall of one bird

is known to the Divine.  The miracle

of creation imbues its warbling song.


May the miracle of this bird’s song,

chirruping in garden, or in hallowed space, bless

and give life to all dejected saints.