out of whose wet folds hath sprung
the miracle of the Soul
to bring Dawn to the Universe—
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—
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, what hast thou become? and why
hast Death made thee his wife?
wedding thy body to his weapon
and terrorizing the World.
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.
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
whose tears hath stained with stars
the quiet sky—O
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
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.