We have climbed up out of the pit of stone, of worm, fish, bird and beast
To see your face, Beloved, hear your voice—to keep love’s tryst.
How gladly we went out singing in the dawn of your Song—
Like careless children, never dreaming the way was so long.
Then we found ourselves trapped in hard unyielding stone,
Each one in his little cell utterly alone.
The glad morning had suddenly become impenetrable night
In which was embedded, like a misted star, a faint point of light
Towards which we yearned and strained; in which we began
A new song—that carried us up out of the depths to Man.
Now we have arrived at your door, Beloved, a band
Of minstrels to entertain you, to beg wine at your hand.
If you do not open the door, if it is not the time of tryst—
We have learnt patience, Beloved, we do not mind in the least.
Much of Francis’ poetry is a vision like that of Job, refusing to seek explanations and comforts for the actions of divine providence, abandoning all claims and understandings.
The vast expanse opened up by evolution is a song of the soul rather than a confession of random chance and mechanical law. It is not an account that dwarfs us but one that gives us courage and patience.
What a fine word ‘tryst’ is, as if we had a long standing appointment with the beloved. The singing in the dawn covers both the cosmic process and our own personal journeying.
The angels of light energy find themselves imprisoned in stone, like solitary monks in penitential cells. Within each one of us stirs the longing to know who we are, like a distant misty point of light. This accounts for the whole upward movement and progress of evolving.
Now, not like investors claiming our dividend but as a band of wandering jongleurs joyfully paying homage and wishing to entertain the lord of the castle – playful metaphor which lightens and inspires.
It is as if we have learnt patience from our long sojourn as stone.