The mighty tower of the cross
Will shatter all the brittle shell
Of thin, dim, transient skies,
And we, uplifted on it, see at last
Blazing through the breach
The pure, clear daylight of our royal home.
The candlelights of hope and faith,
So long safeguarded through the windy night,
Will dim away in beatific dawn.
All those lampposts of promise and doctrine,
Knife-bright in that deep mist,
Along with roving, whirling sparks
Of deepest sweet desire,
And fleeting flashes, blinding bursts,
Of glory understood—
Yes, all will meet within the Sun,
Be shown as faint glints of the Sun,
The Light whereon our eyes were made to gaze.
The heavy darknesses of pain,
That all but blot the sun from transient skies,
At long last will fall back for good and all,
No gleam, no respite, but the lasting morn.
Looking back, eyes filled with day,
Then will we see them all anew,
As shadows of the Tree of Life,
Long shadows that we followed to the dawning,
The living glow whence they were cast.
The chasms of space and time
Will all be filled, deep gashes healed,
By outpour of divine infinity,
Nevermore to sever us.
The sundered islands of our hearts
Will join in the celestial continent,
Upon the bedrock of the Triune love.
There never can love’s starry flame
Be poisoned with earth’s fumes,
Never will we need fear its leaping light.
For all our love-lights will be taken up
Into a joyous whirling galaxy,
The dance of glory round the radiant throne.
But who could tell it true?
What thought below could grasp it—
a baby’s hand might sooner grip the sea—
that breaking morn that is the very Light,
When the finite is overflowed by Infinite,
When the beloved’s united with her Lover,
Whose love, beamed on her through creation’s screen,
Now breaks on her undimmed!
What idle dreaming!” I hear the world say.
“You waste your days gazing away at far, empty space.
It’s here, it’s now that matters!”
Here, now, what shall we do?
We’re all the shipmen of this vessel-earth.
Is she to sink into a cosmic sea,
Bearing our labors below?
Or has she a port, a port for us all,
Where all our sailor-craft is bound?
But when, dear Love, how long?
These swirls of misty rumors rouse my soul
To ask, oh, when will your bright day break at last?
I know—it’s true—a myriad of voices
Whisper kindly, accents all like yours:
It could begin right now.
Small though I am and frail,
Your mighty hand laid on me lifts me up
To love in labor what I’ll love in bliss,
To follow blinded as I will in light,
To learn the notes that make the living song,
To begin here, under transient skies,
The life of home.