When first the light broke through the primal darkness;
When first the sun arose upon the planet;
When first God made the innocence of Adam,
Or built the woman who would assuage man's heartache;
When first a sacrifice appeased His anger
Or when He saw the blood of the first martyr
God had in mind another kind of Manhood,
A greater Light to lighten all of mankind,
A brighter Sun to light a grander landscape ‑
A sinless Man, obedient to His Father,
A sorer Sufferer who trod a harsher pathwayUntil He gave Himself ‑ the better ransom.
This is part one of "Touching the King", a series relating to the Lord Jesus personally which I wrote some years ago. I have posted all before, but will, if the Lord will, set them out day by day till the series is finished.
The form is somewhat of my invention. It is based on my, possibly defective, understanding of the Old French laisse. The general principles are:
each stanza had twelve lines;
all twelve lines assonate, i.e. the last stressed syllable has the same vowel sound - full rhymes are usually accidental;
the basic measure is the so-called iambic, unstressed syllable followed by stressed;
each line has five stresses and a break after the second or third stress;
in a substantial minority of lines there is an additional unstressed syllable after the break or at the end of the line, or both.