The air is hot and dry,
clouded by storms of dust.
Endless realms of sand
make the hardy die of thirst.
But even on this desert planet
water can be found,
dew in secret places,
pools by sheltering rocks.
I have had a dream:
This desert became a beach,
mist was in the air,
great waves of philosophy
broke against the shore.
I seem to wander far from you
across the meadows fraught with dew,
across the pathways of the stars
where all the hidden serpents are,
and yet I still remember you
as though my memories were new,
as though your word were in my ear
and time had brought us close and near.
Beyond the portals of the sphere
what hope shall keep me on the road?
What strength shall fight off death and fear
save love and you and heaven's glow?
How faintly do the lines now linger
on the writings of the dead,
like melted snows from thawing winter
or breath on windows, soon to fade!
And yet, and yet, their words are calling;
they catch us out at sudden times,
return the heart turned sad and sullen,
and stalk our plans and haunt our dreams.
Sunlight burning through the window --
burning redly like the ember,
glory like the nitred flame,
blue and purple like the Godhead,
tongues of fire on the Name --
graces pew with gift of promise,
light from age to age the same.
Bring the hallows and the oil,
bring the crowns and seals of royal,
bring the sword and shield of faith:
now the soldiers born for glory
feel the unction in the pouring,
love that knows no guilt or shame.
O Most holy God forever,
breathe on them and make them hale,
mark their hearts with courage ever
and with your Spirit seal them well!