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Father Ryan's Poems (100)

2006-09-08 16:38

    Zeila

    From the mystic sidereal spaces, In the noon of a night 'mid of May, Came a spirit that murmured to me —— Or was it the dream of a dream? No! no! from the purest of places, Where liveth the highest of races, In an unfallen sphere far away (And it wore Immortality's gleam) Came a Being. Hath seen on the sea The sheen of some silver star shimmer 'Thwart shadows that fall dim and dimmer O'er a wave half in dream on the deep? It shone on me thus in my sleep.

    Was I sleeping? Is sleep but the closing, In the night, of our eyes from the light? Doth the spirit of man e'en then rest? Or doth it not toil all the more? When the earth-wearied frame is reposing, Is the vision then veiled the less bright? When the earth from our sight hath been taken, The fetters of senses off shaken, The soul, doth it not then awaken To the light on Infinity's shore? And is not its vision then best, And truest, and farthest, and clearest? In night, is not heaven the nearest? Ah, me! let the day have his schemers, Let them work on their ways as they will, And their workings, I trow, have their worth. But the unsleeping spirits of dreamers, In hours when the world-voice is still, Are building, with faith without falter, Bright steps up to heaven's high altar, Where lead all the aisles of the earth.

    Was I sleeping? I know not ——or waking? The body was resting, I ween; Meseems it was o'ermuch tired With the toils of the day that had gone; When sudden there came the bright breaking Of light thro' a shadowy screen; And with the brightness there blended The voice of the Being descended From a star ever pure of all sin, In music too sweet to be lyred By the lips of the sinful and mortal. And, oh! how the pure brightness shone! As shines thro' the summer morn's portal Rays golden and white as the snow, As white as the flakes —— ah, no! whiter; Only angelic wings may be brighter When they flash o'er the brow of some woe That walketh this shadowed below.

    The soul loseth never its seeing, In the goings of night and of day It graspeth the Infinite Far. No wonder there may come some Being, As if it had wandered astray At times down the wonder-filled way —— As to me in the midnight of May —— From its home in some glory-crowned star, Where evil hath never left traces; Where dwelleth the highest of races, Save the angels that circle the throne, In a grace far beyond all our graces, Whose Christ is the same as our own.

    Yea! I ween the star spaces are teeming With the gladness of life and of love. No! no! I am not at all dreaming —— The Below's hands enclasp the Above. 'Tis a truth that is more than a seeming —— Creation is many, tho' one, And we are the last of its creatures. This earth bears the sign of our sin (From the highest the evil came in); Yet ours are the same human features That veiled long agone the Divine. How comes it, O holy Creator! That we, not the first, but the latter Of varied and numberless beings Springing forth in Thy loving decreeings, That we are, of all, the most Thine?

    Yea! we are the least and the lowly, The half of our history gone, We look up the Infinite slope In faith, and we walk on in hope; But think ye from here to the "Holy Of Holies" beyond yon still sky, O'er the stars that forever move on, I' the heavens beyond the bright Third, In glory's ineffable light; Where the Father, and Spirit, and Word Reign circled by angels all bright —— Ah! think you 'tween Here and that Yonder There is naught but the silence of death? There's naught of love's wish or life's wonder, And naught but an infinite night? No! no! the great Father is fonder Of breathing His life-giving breath Into beings of numberless races. And from here on and up to His throne The Trinity's beautiful faces, In countlessly various traces, Are seen in more stars than our own. This earth telleth not half the story Of the infinite heart of our God —— The heavens proclaim of His glory The least little part, and His power Broke not its sceptre when earth Was beckoned by Him into birth. Is He resting, I wonder, to-night? Can He rest when His love sways His will? Will He rest ere His glory shall fill All spaces below and above With beings to know and to love?

    Creation —— when was it begun? Who knows its first day? Nay, none. And then, what ken among men Can tell when the last work is done? Is He resting, I wonder, to-night? Doth He ever grow weary of giving To Darknesses rays of His light? Doth He ever grow weary of giving To Nothings the rapture of living And waiting awhile for His sight? If His will rules His glorious power, And if love sways His beautiful will, Is He not, e'en in this very hour, Going on with love's wonder-work still?

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