O most holy alphabet,
potential of all curse and prayer,
quarks of trade and courtesy,
blessed be the first who framed
line and order of your grace.
Like to wheel or sacred arch,
instrument forged in breath of mind;
all the secrets of the world
implicit in your lines we find.
Of the Word
The word a world encompasses, enfolds,
and like its Muse will reach to highest star;
the language of the angels each word holds
and touches fields where roaming planets are.
In words like 'world' we say what is not seen,
we point to what no pointing hand can guide,
and every word is graced with tone and sheen
that gestures at what words both show and hide.
'Indefinite' and 'infinite' both make
distinction that eludes our fancy's play;
no senses show what fluent ear has heard.
Some things we may from senses straightway take,
we point and mime to make precise our way,
but for precision nothing beats the word.