He gazed into the obdurate dark,
As tolled the clock the late hour of two.
And then as if in a moment’s time
He heard at three the horologic chime.
Between these signals in the night
His soul embraced in dreamful sleep–
Wherein, within–a stream of signs
That points him to his heart’s designs.
“O, where is God in all of this?
Can we find Him, or He find us?”
It was near four, before the toll,
Our dreamer sought what might console.
How troublesome can pit-night be.
Our piteous cries to Him ascend.
O Lord, please send a cleansing fire,
And spare us from path-losing desire.
The fire of God is a fearsome thing:
It burns or cleanses, whichever applies.
In its embrace are heaven and hell.
No one on earth can quench or quell.
From four to sunrise, oblivion reigned,
Until the clock struck the hour of six.
Our sleeper uplifted graceful Lauds.
Reminding him he was one of God’s.
“Praise the Lord with blissful joy.
Praise the Lord in heights and depths.
Let me praise Him when abed,
And praise Him still when I am dead.”
Michael G. Tavella
Saint Hilary of Poitiers
January 13, 2023