Nocturne by Kathleen Raine
Night comes, an angel stands
Measuring out the time of stars,
Still are the winds, and still the hours.
It would be peace to lie
Still in the still hours at the angel's feet,
Upon a star hung in a starry sky,
But hearts another measure beat.
Each body, wingless as it lies,
Sends out its butterfly of night
With delicate wings, and jewelled eyes.
And some upon day's shores are cast,
And some in darkness lost
In waves beyond the world, where float
Somewhere the islands of the blest.
Loss of Memory
The holy words: why did we let them go?
Whose are our children, who no longer know
"Our father who are in heaven"?
For words create that heaven, and that Father,
Hallow the holy Name,
Unspoken in a time that has forgotten
The language that peoples unseen heaven
And visible earth with all her creatures,
Tells the thousand stories of our one human story.
What but the word has made kings royal, women beautiful,
Made Mary the Mother of God? God has no mother now,
Nor Eve the far hope of her lost garden.
Disinherited from ancestral wisdom
Whose realm protected once, for us
The soundless voice of memory speaks no more
That used to tell, over and over,
The healing words: "Let not your heart be troubled,"
Of green pastures and still waters
And the twelve signs of love that never fails.
From The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy - edited by Robert Bly