The Lily of the Year
The lily of the year, O Lord,
your holy rising from the dead,
gives fragrance through the ages, Lord,
like the scent of new-baked bread,
or the scent of summer rain
that promises to parched lands
that new life is in the air
to pour on thirsty sands,
or bouquet of wine that hovers
to fill your house with love
and give people cheer and gladness
to praise their God above.
On a dark and stormy night when a gale was rising high,
I was walking on the way and I thought I heard a cry;
muffled by the distance to a sound like mournful sigh,
it rose above the wind, then wavered, faltered, died,
so light upon the ear that I almost could have thought
it was a subtle trick of sound by storm and gale-wind wrought.
What could it be? Sense and query fiercely fought,
but worry over-balanced, so sense I heeded not:
I rushed into the darkness of the wind and rain and cold.
The lightning flashed and glamored on a castle ruined of old
and there, like sheep who strayed from the devil's fallen fold,
there walked in night and shadow the terrors, bale and bold,
who turned the rain to sleet with the malice of their breath --
and in that bitter malice I met my freezing death.
Praise the Lord!
Praise him in his temple,
in the heights, praise,
for all his works, praise,
praise his greatness!
Praise him with trumpet shout,
with lutes, praise,
with the clear lyre, praise,
with the drums, praise,
with the fleet, swift dance,
with pipes, with cymbals,
loud, clashed cymbals, praise!
All that breathes, praise,
praise the Lord!
I went walking today to feel the thrill of green upon my eyes.
There there are no worries, there are no lies,
no misunderstandings made by false disguise,
only, for those who take the time to look,
lightward-growing life beside a spring-fed brook
with richer colors far than are ever found in books.