The heart still beats in Peter's hall.
The world still turns upon the cross.
In silent gardens shadows fall
on leaves that do not heed their loss.
In holy skies the stars still burst
and milky still the stream is seen,
as for that light the mind still thirsts
beside the lake of moonlit sheen.
How fair, how fair the evenings are
that bring a respite from the day!
And, sure and safe and lit by star,
the road of Christ lies where it lay.
Once long ago was princess in a tower,
her prison built of ice formed from her tears;
she sat and sighed in dim and distant bower
amidst a field of thorns that sprang from fears.
On starry nights she would remark their wonder
and sing a song of dreams her heart had had;
the stars, soon hid by clouds that rolled in thunder,
would sing responsion quiet, clear, and sad.
You are the most lovely of lovable things,
rising in splendor, aurora-arrayed,
roseate, luminant, aureate-splayed,
lightening worlds. The morrow-red sings
songs that will banish the winter-formed frost,
shining on ice that, translucent, transforms
light into iris in colorful storms,
hope iridescent. I would be lost,
broken, should brightness not rise in the west,
joy iridesce on the surface below,
breaking the bondage and service of snow:
you I behold, and by you am blessed.
My dragons are so picturesque,
I know not how to kill them;
I watch the warm and sunny skies
as dragons swarm to fill them.
They grow from little friendly cubs
to mountains soaring high
with flames so fierce and searing hot
that near them all things die.
But, oh! when endless numbers fly
and chaos wreak on all,
I still can't kill the splendid things,
though all the world should fall.
Our God, who governs galaxies by subtle wave-like threads
and gives all parts direction, can He have set His tread
on such dry earthen lands as this old world, and cared
for sparrow and for lily small, unstarlike and so spare?
But wave-like threads still pinions form in flurry and in flight
and rippled space and time, with layers without fault,
builds up the gilded bloom; no prejudice constrains
the Highest to contempt of endless details strewn
throughout an endless space. Then shall the lily-plant
bemoan its lonely fate? No ground will bear complaint.
For God who makes the stars from myriad subtle things
makes us, and it, and all, and so we give Him thanks.