Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VIA CRUCIS, by MAXWELL STRUTHERS BURT

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VIA CRUCIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Out of the dark we come, nor know
Last Line: End in the lonely figure of a man.
Alternate Author Name(s): Burt, Struthers
Subject(s): God; Jesus Christ; Life; Religion; Theology

OUT of the dark we come, nor know
Into what outer dark we go.
Wings sweep across the stars at night,
Sweep and are lost in flight,
And down the star-strewn windy lanes the sky
Is empty as before the wings went by.
We dare not lift our eyes, lest we should see
The utter quiet of eternity;
So, in the end, we come to this:
Christ-Mary's kiss.

We cannot brook the wide sun's might,
We are alone and chilled by night;
We stand, atremble and afraid,
Upon the small worlds we have made;
Fearful, lest all our poor control
Should turn and tear us to the soul;
Adread, lest we should be denied
The price we hold our ragged pride;
So in the end we cast these by
For a gaunt cross against the sky.

To those who question is the fine reward
Of the brave heart who fights with broken sword
In the dark night against an unseen enemy;
There is not any hope of victory.
While sweat is sweet and earthly ways and toil,
The touch of shoulders, scent of new-turned soil,
Striving itself amid the thrusting throng,
And love that comes with white hands strong;
But on itself the long path turns again,
To find at length the hill of pain.

Such only do we know and see;
Starlight and evening mystery,
Sunlight on peaks and dust-red plain,
Thunder and the quick breath of rain,
Stirring of fields and all the lovely things
That season after season brings;
Young dawn and quiet night
And the earth's might.
But all our widsom and our wisdom's plan
End in the lonely figure of a Man.

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