How hard it is to die in spring,
Savoring the deep earth-freshness of the garden
As you pour your soul out unto death.
All things begin. All things draw to the end.
These are the strangest then of couplings—
0live shoots with salty tears,
Warm, honeyed breezes bearing agonizing cries.
The elements protest against
This jarring fate to which you bow.
Why now refuse the sweet-slow rising of the sap?
Why blast the seedlings, newly sprung from cloddy cells?
Why siIence every thrushsong,
Stifle the glad cry now rising in the common folk
Whose hearts warm with the muddy soil?
The tempting spring deplores your ill-timed sacrifice.
Each sense, each nerve, exhilarated, begs you
Lay aside unseasonable, unreasonable imaginings.
You choose the barren, grieving path,
We are amazed.
We do not understand.
“My God, My God!”
This is the awful hand
That rents asunder all
The veil of gloom
That clothes the world
And veils the holiest
Where God and angels laugh and cry
As God hangs dying:
The battering ram that slams
To smithereens the separating wall of tyranny
An enemy constructed:
The ordnance unleashed upon his own, claimed ground,
That blasts him to eternity:
This cry of “Eloi!”
Is the great answer
To the high challenge of the tyrant:
The word that flings gauntlets of holy vengeance
In his face, marking his last obliteration.
This cry of “Eloi,”
Is heaven’s full-throated counter
To myriad meek apologies,
“Help Thou mine unbelief,”
Esteemed and celebrated by Thomas’ twins
In their great, feeble faith.
“Eloi” in all its tortured anguish
Rings out the confidence of true possession:
“My God,” addressed with force of full authority.
The gamut run to its last end,
You prove My God.
The agony I bear for You, My God.
The pact that coeternal beings sealed
’Ere the foundations of this earth were laid
Must be full realized. This is My part.
I am still God. The whole creation groans
About this cross upon this mount
Between these thieves. And We, its Maker,
Made it, not to groan, but to exult in joy!
I Am still God. You, Father, are still mine.
But this sad earth, sold and betrayed so long,
Clutched by cold death and enemies
Of light, and love
Must be restored to life and peace.
“Eloi! My God!”
Creation leaps up from his failing, flailing, fading grasp.
Forever banished from all scenes of action.
“Eloi! My God!” This is the victors’ song:
“Eloi! My God!”