The Great War

from Herb o' Grace, an electronic edition

Distraction

When swarms of small distractions harry

Devotion like the gnats that fly

Till prayers are cold and customary,

Not such as please Thee, Heaven-high.

When I forget for all my striving

Thy presence holy and august,

Be Thou not angry, but forgiving

To her Thou madest from the dust.

Say to Thyself: This mortal being,

So deaf, so blind, so prone to sin,

Has glimpses of Me without seeing

The places where the nails went in.

Say: Through the crusts of earth, My creature

Perceives Me, hails Me Lord above;

Rumours of the lost innocence reach her,

With full assurance of My love.

Say: Of all marvels I have fashioned

Is none more wonderful and new

As that this thing should go impassioned

For heights beyond her mortal view.

What though her mind should play and ponder

On small things meet for such as she!

O love! O loyalty! O wonder!

That in the darkness gropes for Me.