Christian Poems XIII: Keller and Eliot

Matilija Poppy (by Vicki Priest)
Matilija Poppy (by Vicki Priest)

In the Garden of the Lord

by Helen Keller

The word of God came unto me,
Sitting alone among the multitudes;
And my blind eyes were touched with light.
And there was laid upon my lips a flame of fire.

I laugh and shout for life is good,
Though my feet are set in silent ways.
In merry mood I leave the crowd
To walk in my garden. Ever as I walk
I gather fruits and flowers in my hands.
And with joyful heart I bless the sun
That kindles all the place with radiant life.
I run with playful winds that blow the scent
Of rose and jasmine in eddying whirls.

At last I come where tall lilies grow,
Lifting their faces like white saints to God.
While the lilies pray, I kneel upon the ground;
I have strayed into the holy temple of the Lord.

In A Sacrifice of Praise, James H. Trott, editor (Cumberland House 2006; stanzas slightly modified)

_________________

The Rock (excerpt from Section X of Choruses)

by TS Eliot

О Greater Light, we praise Thee for the less;

The eastern light our spires touch at morning,

The light that slants upon our western doors at evening.

The twilight over stagnant pools at batflight,

Moon light and star light, owl and moth light,

Glow-worm glowlight on a grassblade.

О Light Invisible, we worship Thee!

 

We thank Thee for the lights that we have kindled,

The light of altar and of sanctuary;

Small lights of those who meditate at midnight

And lights directed through the coloured panes of windows

And light reflected from the polished stone,

The gilded carven wood, the coloured fresco.

Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward

And see the light that fractures through unquiet water.

We see the light but see not whence it comes.

О Light Invisible, we glorify Thee!

___

In T.S Eliot: Collected Poems 1909-1962 (HBJ 1963)

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