Archive for August, 2016

Eschaton

(my dear friend over at Ethelweard wrote this poem as a wedding present to my daughter and her new husband. I think I’ve never read anything so beautiful. It must be shared.)

For Sadie Jasper and Elisha, on their wedding-day.

An old man exiled on an island
(who when young had leaned back
on the Heart of God) at last
found his eyes so steeped in love
that the present moment melted
and Jerusalem descended dressed
as a bride for her husband, bright
as burnished jasper. From a sky
swirling with thunder and angels,
stars in flight and a dragon
ravening for the world, swords
springing from mouths and a Lamb
alive but somehow slain, the city comes
clad in familiar gems: no wilder things
than the things we know can offer,
embodied, the wedding of strength
and light.

At last the stones cry out: at last
no longer fleeting, beauty
is tuned to earthward, homing
to the center of love. And the bride
comes down, the treasure revealed
for which the wise man ran to give up
all.

So the men who heard God call
through the lilt of a human voice
have always run–from fathers, fields,
tax-collections, nets: so the one
who offered his oxen on the wood
that yoked them, turning
from the pyre of what he’d been
to chariots of fire.

The jewel and the prophet both
are sacraments of yes, the promise
made when morning blessed the deep:
one, the covenant gleaming
on Aaron’s breastplate and the streets
of Christ’s beloved; the other’s voice
and vision burning with the news
of coming day.

May you, the bride, simplicity
gilded with grace, glistening forth
from untold facets sparks
of sudden flame–even
in shadow may you be still
a harbor for the light. And bridegroom,
you whose forebear felt the whirlwind
smolder with God, may your fingers
listen at the edges of wood and stone
for the voice of Him who sounds
this world to bring us home.

May He without Whom nothing
is strong or holy bless you, keep you,
and shine on you in the place
where St. John came; and may He
Who joins you now fulfill
the promise of your names.

Leave a comment