Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Echoes of Truth, But Faintly Heard

The Platonic Triunity
by Aubrey De Vere

Say, whence that light which in the antient days--
Like earliest rays of the up-rising sun
That gleam upon some hoary-headed Alp
'Mid his benighted brothers eminent--
Settled on Plato's brow; and glorified
Older Pythagoras in the Memphian school?
To them the mystic Truth, was shadowed forth
Of triune Godhead--self-existing Goodness--
Eternal Mind--the universal Soul--
Mating with man and nature; like the sound
Of choral voices linked in harmony
Breathing upon the air melodious song!
Yes, though they knew not all, echoes of truth,
But faintly heard, came to them from afar:
Not from the northern Rhodopean, whence
The shout of heathen sacrifices sprang;
But from the sacred East--the cedarn slope
Of Lebanon, and Pisgah's hallowed height.
They were but men, humanly taught, and therefore
Erred in their teaching; for they could not give
Being to cold Abstractions, thought and will
To Attributes, to Definitions power.
From these we need no help. The Scriptures prove
(Rightly assigning their due force to words)
Facts vital to our faith and hopes; conveyed
With our baptismal dowry; and confirmed
By sacramental pledge in life and death.
They speak, and ask us to believe, a fact;
Nor labour to expound a mystery.
They teach (and who shall doubt the evidence?)
That Christ said, “Before Abraham was, I am!’”
“My Father and I are One!” and John declares,
“There are Three Witnesses in heaven—and These,
The Father, and the Word, and Holy Spirit,
These Three are One!”