O, Time


O, Time,

immortal darkness

out of whose wet folds hath sprung

the miracle of the Soul

to bring Dawn to the Universe—


O, Time,

grey Angel with

the keys to that Kingdom

in thy grasp, the smouldering World

in thy reign and in thy grasp

like a piteous pearl

awash with misery, wronged, so

wronged by its own allegiances—


O, Time,

I am at thy mercy—

this I do not deny

—but, while I am still young,

while I am still able and strong,

full of that sweet bliss of ease

that I shall inevitably waste, O


tell me of what things

thou hast seen here,

on watch, on guard against us

coming or leaving too soon

over the long hills and under the great

and cloudless Skies that await us

in such an ancient eternity

I fear we shall have forgotten

what we are—O


why dost thou weep?

what dost thou grieve?

what terrible, terrible deeds

hast thou been made to perform

in the Name of God? I see thee scouring

thy hands in the river after the Sun

hast bade these Lands her slow farewell

and sunk deep below the horizon

to sleep with the darkness.

Time, O

Time, what hast thou become? and why

hast Death made thee his wife?

wedding thy body to his weapon

and terrorizing the World.

Time, O

precious Time.

I have beheld in thine eyes

the Angels in their Houses of Light

spreading in splashes the early Dawn

across the Sky, and in whispers stirring

the lost World into Life—and this was long,

long before such wintry days

of prayers neglected,

of chaos, confusion:

all the wrong roads travelled.

Time, O

fragrant Time,

whom I have scented in

both the chambers of despair

and the fields of faith.

I do not blame thee for any of this.

I ask only for thy company awhile,

for thee to sit and sup with me here,

as the two of us await the iron bells

to cry out shrill, calling me thus away

back into that World at last

of whose warmth I have, thus far,

been only able to taste

in thy kiss, O


broken woman

whose tears hath stained with stars

the quiet sky—O


lonely maiden

whose smile is the blossom

of the heart when the colossal winter

of this life is shed at last and the final hour

is spent in thy resistless embrace—O



little girl

of tender mercies

laughing in the rain

like a fountain of promise: I am ready

to thank thee for everything

thou hast done to me.


West Vancouver