The sun is shining high above,
its light is but a word below:
this world will never know of love
nor ever know it does not know.
It speaks a word that does not mean,
a puff of air, a pompous gasp,
while love remains for it unseen,
forever out of reaching grasp.
The sacred hides from mind profane.
What they call 'love' is but facade;
it never was on altar slain,
it does not pave a path to God.
Along the winding, misty roads now littered with the years
(the hedges are our human loves, the stones, our human fears)
the Sleepers walk their silent way, with a ceaseless marching beat,
unstopping and yet weary with an aching in their feet.
In the beginning of The Adam Covenant was made,
a strand between the sea and land, at which the wave was stayed;
The Adam broke the Covenant, but cannot breach the sea
that covers the whole mortal world as cold infinity.
Of that ancient time and distant, yet present and so near,
no vision meets unsighted eyes, but it is felt in fear.
The Spirit moves on waters that are formless with their void,
but laden with the promise of worlds made, preserved, destroyed;
the world is brought to being in the Covenant of Light,
which makes the world be manifest within the Ocean-night.
In the garden of our living, the God has spoken plain
with words of endless power whose echoes must yet remain:
"I give you all creation as a place to rule and play
with Galahad of witness where I make the sea to stay,
and this the Compact's mark, which shall endure like deathless sky,
and this the sign of Covenant, that every man shall die.
For death is the translation, the surmounting of the sea
that has no end but heaven and divine eternity.
As the worm from forth its tomb bursts out with wings of soul,
so mortal man shall ever die, in dying become whole.
But this gift can turn to curse; if from death you would be free,
you must make no acquaintance with the bitter destiny --
you must not know within yourself the evil in the good,
for death will come forever if it thus be understood.
If you seek your life in glory, such life is found in death:
in dying you shall be immortal by God's holy breath;
but when good with evil mingles, and truth is meshed with lie,
then one fate alone can wait you: in dying you shall die.
The longest death, the endless death, is when a man thus dies;
then death is no translation, but a fear beneath the sky,
and beyond the far firmament, in the byssal depths unfree,
your souls shall wander lost and beneath an endless sea."
We are the wandering Adam, a sea-surface our sky.
In life we never know the shore; in death we surely die.
We are lost ocean-creatures, and all drowning, drowned, and dead;
our path is endless marching on the sandy ocean-bed.
Sad we are, and silent, save with the grumblings of our soul
driven mad by surest death and dissolved in every whole;
eternity within us, in the blessing of the breath,
but we lost our sacred sign and sold our one rightful death.
As Esau with his potage, we sold our one thing of worth
and sleep the sleep of the dying dead, hopeless of rebirth.
We dream in dying slumbers, doomed to certainty of death,
of translation of our bodies, transfiguring of breath,
in pictures strange and much confused by our enslaving sea,
and by our ceaseless fear of dying, never to be free,
of a time beyond the seafoam when we are raised through air,
and on some far and distant shore (they say no sea is there)
we die no more for dying, but for birth in endless light
that cannot be held by the sea, nor quenched by ocean's night.
But we are the Covenant-Breakers, and as legends tell,
in dying we shall surely die and live a life called 'hell'.
We are the Faithless Adam, wandering beneath the sea;
it is endless for the faithless, its bound eternity.