Here stretch the empty shores, laced with the salt
Of our mortality. A sere wind blows
To penetrate each crevice of our hearts
With desolation we cannot dispose.
Here, at this time, we turn hunched shoulders round,
Vowing that we will not deny the pain,
Will put aside the pleasures that make numb,
And sip at choking penance once again.
There is a time for all that’s scant and spare,
To walk the graveled earth with naked feet,
And own the hungers still unsatisfied,
Admitting our account books are not neat.
But see, within the scope of this strait hour
Ever a dawn on grey horizon shines:
The wonder, and the glory, and the power,
Which by its being, all things else defines.
Suffer us then to drink this gall of living.
Suffer us to admit this time this place,
Suffer this flesh to own that it is dying,
Suffer us to unclench our hands for grace.
Suffer our tears to blend with sweet rain falling --
Even on sullen earth a freshness sprouts;
And from the bitter ash the phoenix rising
Bursts into flame, extinguishing our doubts.