A star there is, they said, so near to God's own throne
it rules both near and far and governs as its own
the lights both great and small that shine in heaven's heights,
those children, one and all, that beam in endless night.
Its every day, they said, lasts for a thousand years
in which God's children play with smiles and no tears;
and every journal's thought exceeds in wisdom's reach
all things our scribes have taught, all things our lives can teach.
And from that place, perhaps, one sees the host of hosts
that sprinkle endless space, the sea without a coast --
and there the forests old spread endless and unmarred;
their trunks are trunks of gold, and every leaf -- a star.
But standing here, I said, I know a greater thing
than any extant sphere around which worlds can ring:
the One that prays with tears while facing endless loss
but overcomes all fears to stretch forth on a cross,
and rises up once more, a lamb upon a throne,
the way, the sheepfold's door, the knower and the known;
he is the branching vine and we the grafted stems
that praise with cheerful wine the endlessness of him.
The force of love to rush,
is force of love to river be,
not pool or puddle on the plain:
it moves with end and not in vain,
to flow through vale to violet sea,
to find a home in unbound good.
Yet every water must be bound,
it will forceless move,
creep and seep,
devoid of rush,
like words that waver into hush,
enslaved by furrow and by groove.
That way the sea is never found.
Love in every way may veer,
may fall away,
As rivers overflow we err --
the border burdens by being there --
and waves will war,
fight and flail,
for bounds are death:
death we fear.
Weird is the wyrd of man,
writ on stars with sacred stile,
carved on ash of ages blessed,
carved on leaves.
The bracts confess truth to those who hang for nine --
in death sublime.
Eye then opens --
source of awe --
wise becomes the Hanging God:
wise with lore of ancient runes,
wise in ways of birth and doom.
fresh-drawn from prophet's well
(poets there will drink their fill,
the scops who,
with their eddas,
dream of things to come and things unseen),
will wake from slumber sleeping thoughts --
wise becomes the prophet-God,
who gives an eye to be made wise,
who on the ash of ages dies.
Ravens soar from rainbow-bridge
with piercing eye for all things hid,
go back and forth through all the lands --
through all ages restless roam from root to crown to Father's throne,
thought and memory turned to wing,
seeking out all truths unseen.
And this he sees in town and wild:
a stranger is the human child.