When our first head mistook Great Love
for false and idle rule,
and spurned our bright vocation then,
to trample on the jewel,
The multi-faceted, the joy
of all their duties there:
that Cultivated Peace,
which veiled the Garden’s air.
And as the Master of the World
did mercifully hide
his highest creature’s shame from Earth,
he took th’intended bride
And led us by the hand, with grief,
to see the barren field,
the rocky toil of all the world,
the harvest death did yield.
He set a certain angel there,
from of the Cherubim,
who, having seen this fall, did weep,
lament a sword so grim,
And wince at such a stern demand;
for this old blade was fire
that, if the bride would but approach,
would be a deadly pyre.
So as the soul and body, once
all full with deathless grace ,
removed itself from life by curse,
we said, before the Face:
“The angel bars our way back Home
with steel and flaming sting;
come, let us spite this fiery gate,
enkindled by the ‘King’,
And so we make our own abode,
and found our fiefs on pride,
to burn away the memory
of Eden’s peaceful tide.”
The single angel sighed for these,
though keeping to his post,
and watched the progress of that heart
which God had loved the most.
And all the glory of that plot
has passed from history;
man, thus removed, in faded days,
forgot the mystery.
From death to death they journeyed on,
the long travail of years
and tilled, as best, the barren soil
which shaped their vale of tears.
The ages of the world moved on,
and on went wars and spite,
and on went lifeless ages: on
and on with none to right…
Until a single, sunny day,
an average course of dawn,
when Life itself then had its say,
restoring what was pawned.
It went like this: a grieving band,
a good “man” lately dead;
when ill had conquered all; the clash
had come unto a head.
And in this lustrous morning mist,
which gleamed as precious stone,
a door was opened, rock rolled back;
and watching, there, not known
To these, a changeless person sat:
familiar to earth,
yet young and full of life; with hope,
his smile declared “new birth”.
He dwelt there, pondering the sun,
and, seeing that its rays
alighted on his rocky throne,
no longer felt its blaze,
For one whose mighty arm and hand
had won the victory,
went forth; and stout, this servant gave
“Dear women: brides, and maids, and more,
his name is Adam, now;
or, Adam as he ought to be,
for truly, truly, how
Could He destroy you, whom He loved
these many centuries,
and not unlock these ancient tombs,
I know you’ve groaned and yearned to smell
that Garden air again,
and long have all your faithful raged
and pushed against this grain,
Yet barren death and curse came near,
and I, appointed guard,
watched, lest in all your maddened rush,
it be forever barred.
But now the one who left these clothes
has rushed headlong, thus blessed,
and gone to flow’ring Galilee
that death may be redressed.
Don’t wonder much that this has come;
for Old went out to fade
by way of Garden, Fire, and Rock;
the New has come to aid
by rock and fire and garden path,
the opposite of old,
yet mirroring the one he saved,
his face embossed in gold.
Back then I held the sword; now stone,
he bid, that I have moved;
of old I mourned the Man and Bride;
today, their love is proved.
Old Adam left for dust and death,
the New has brought you life;
The Old went out, and slashed himself;
New Adam broke the knife.
Old Lust had scorned the teeming grass,
and furnaced idol shrines;
New Love has pushed away the ore,
redrew the icon’s lines.
From life to death to life again
is not an empty round;
the First went in, the Last went out,
on firm and surest ground.
Go tell your sullen men, your bone
of bones and flesh of flesh:
not only is the union healed;
the King now reigns afresh.”
An angel stood to block the way,
that Garden be not tomb;
the same now heralds break of day,
that grave be Garden’s womb.