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Father Ryan's Poems (112)

2006-09-08 16:38

    The Poet Priest

    ~Not~ as of one whom multitudes ~admire~, I believe they call him great; They throng to hear him with a strange desire; They, silent, come and wait, And wonder when he opens wide the gate Of some strange, inner temple, where the fire Is lit on many altars of many dreams —— They wait to catch the gleams —— And then they say, In praiseful words "'Tis beautiful and grand." And so his way Is strewn with many flowers, sweet and fair; And people say "How happy he must be to win and wear Praise ev'ry day!" And all the while he stands far out the crowd, Strangely ~alone~. Is it a Stole he wears? —— or mayhap a shroud —— No matter which, his spirit maketh moan; And all the while a lonely, lonesome sense Creeps thro' his days ——all fame's incense Hath not the fragrance of his altar; and He seemeth rather to kneel in lowly prayer Than lift his head aloft amid the Grand If all the world would kneel down at his feet And give acclaim —— He fain would say "Oh! No! No! No!

    The breath of fame is sweet ——but far more sweet Is the breath of Him who lives within my heart; God's breath, which e'en, despite of me, will creep Along the words of merely human art; It cometh from some far-off hidden Deep, Far-off and from so far away —— It filleth night and day." ~Not~ as of one who ever, ever cares For earthly praises, not as of such think thou of me, And in the nights and days —— I'll meet with thee In Prayers —— and thou shalt meet with me.

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