The desert wind with grit and fearsome force
does scrape the cheek like steel and flame
as sun beats down on scented cedar trees
that on the mountain distant-wise are seen;
all rock and stone, and stone and rock, and bones,
the land around still spreads; it has no flesh.
But as the cat cries out afar in search of prey,
and as the hoopoe bobs along erratic path,
and as the sons of Maron hid in hills still pray,
I brave the sandy storms that lightning bear, and wrath,
for chalice sweet of wine, and mound of grain,
and joy of garden-birds once past the rain,
and dates and raisins sweet, and cakes of bread,
the splendor of your smile and starry eye,
the scent like myrrh that crowns your regal head,
and peace, but for one day, as blessed of men.
(1) Covenant and Philosophy
The hunters seek the Unicorn.
With splendid light it speeds!
Too swift for human minds to catch
that tramp along on clayborn feet.
The Reason born of God, it runs
like thought itself, like light or breath,
evading every hunter's net,
the never taken, dearly sought.
The Virgin sews in garden close
beneath an oak that spreads its bough,
at dewfall when the light is dim,
beside a candle's glimmer-glow.
Then like a ray from distant star
that peeks from sky with sudden zest
the Unicorn is there with her,
and softly lays its head to rest
upon her lap, like baby born,
as angels blow her hunting horn.
(3) Baptism and Passion
A dragon once in ancient days
with venom dripping, made its way
through twisted roots, and slithered down
to poison garden-spring with death,
a bitter death that burned the soul.
The Unicorn with pensive head
its saving horn bowed lowly down
to dip its light in burning death.
The water cleared, now dewfall-fresh,
but night enmeshed the Unicorn.
(4) Resurrection and Judgment
The Virgin wept as softly slept
the Unicorn on garden grass,
as dull as glass its alicorn,
and dragon rose in anger fierce;
it felt the waters healed of death
and rose to slay the Unicorn.
But Virgin tears that trickled down
awoke the Unicorn to fight,
its saving horn aglow with light,
and battle shook the garden close.
The horn of light with splendor broke
the maw of death; and in its throes,
the dragon shed its blood around,
and where it spilled and mixed with light
there grew a pomegranate tree
with fruits that give eternal life.