Monday, December 29, 2014

As I now breathe

[From: "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"]

As I now breathe, I remember the world
when it shone bright, was gilded, pearled;
when silver were the swollen drops of rain
which fell like stars on the golden grain;
when trees danced glad, and the ancient moon,
when not so ancient, brought afternoon
to the shade of night; when mountains aloft
with hoar-heads shining, scraped the soft
and airy dome, which brimmed with wine,
decanted when the sky-gem rose to shine;
when gold of morning brought forth a song
from folk emerging in gladsome throng,
the citizens beholding with glittering eyes
the good world beneath the blazing skies.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The music of silence

[From: The Last Journal of Gwyllyn]

The music of silence fills the air
with a hushed and hidden minstrelsy
from far beyond the Farthest Sea,
from a continent bright and fair.

And in the darkness, light is seen
though veiled behind a shadow-cloak,
a robe of thundercloud and smoke,
obscuring its golden sheen.

But for now, the dark and silent night
embraces the soul in solitude
which awaits with patient quietude
the advent of morning light.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A ghost is in the apple grove

A ghost is in the apple grove,
a midnight shadow on the wind,
behind the house, in a gated cove
where fruitless branches shake and bend.

And a fragrance comes up from the sea
of cinnamon, clove and rosemary.

A raven watches from the wall
in calm repose, with gleaming eye;
from yonder wood his fellows call
but to them there he will not fly.

The air is rich with thyme and myrrh
admixed with sage and juniper.

Wolves are howling at the gate,
beneath a sky without a stain;
a candle-flame is burning late
through an upper windowpane.

Spikenard, mint are on the breeze
still shaking through the apple trees.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A dream

I dreamed of a deer, robust and tall,
with oak-branch antlers hoisted high;
his new leaves swung in gladsome winds
and glittered beneath the springtime sky.

He strode up to a rocky height
and viewed the world in morning light.

A green fire blazed upon the hills
bestirred by soft and whispered words
which told the tales of summer joys
that fill the hearts of singing-birds.

The sylvan realm had breadth and scope
which burgeoned bright with living hope.

But the beast grew solemn when the sun
reached its zenith-height at noon;
he shook his leaves, now touched with red,
and beheld an early-rising moon.

A coldness laced the golden wind;
he knew the day rushed to its end.

A pale fire smoldered in the west
as leaves and acorns from him fell.
A hoar-frost gathered on his coat
and he laid down in the twilight, frail.

He lowered his white and weary head,
with branches bare, and soon was dead.

I awoke with the sun ablaze in the sky
bursting anew with its joyful face;
glittering golden on many leaves
and filling the day with boundless grace.

Spring was bright, the sky was blue
and light was on the morning dew.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Suspend the stars

Suspend the stars, serene and bright,
around the moon with silver strings
and crown the trees like lofty kings
who rule in peace the realm of night.

Perfume the air with scent of pine
and send out moths abroad to dance
on powdered wings to find, perchance,
some blooming phlox or columbine.

Then stir the wakeful nightingale
to intone her fair and wistful song
and induce the stars to sing along
so to bid the setting moon farewell.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A prayer

[Composed by Fr. Cedric of Ulster (d. 1780)]

O grant us grace to laud Thy Power,
Thy Love, Thy Beauty, in every flower,
not seized and clutched, but simply seen,
then to lift up eyes still clear and clean
to praise Thee rightly from this shore
and beyond the Sea forevermore!

Monday, December 1, 2014


[From: "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"]

The light of morning grew apace
and filled the chalice of the sky
with golden elixir for the eye
to brighten and heal with quiet grace.

A foul flood from the hills was streaming
turbulent in haste over many stones
in deep vales where a dark wind moans
until it appeared under daylight gleaming.

The taints of wormwood were then made sweet
and the cataract-clouds were dissolved away,
as when night yields to the flame of day
and the winter chill to the summer heat.

And at last when the torrent found the sea
and in quietude glittered clear and bright
beneath a calm and golden light,
the eye closed in tranquility.