In Olden Times

In Olden Times the world was young,
And bathed in light.
Silver light,
Golden light,
Light of waters
Light of seas
Light of air
Light of trees and sun and sight,
Light of all lights, light revealing,
Your light in which all lights are seen.

But who was he?
Who opened the handleless door
And looked about and said:

‘Now for myself I will see
If I in myself can see with no light but me.
And then stake my angelic race in this naked twisted place.
There shall my throne sit beneath an empty canopy of nothing.’

Ages passing in Thy light
Follow one another between the dawn and setting night,
Parading, parting,
Rising and falling.

And as Kings fresh and worn,
Once and future,
Sitting to rise,
Stooping to fall.
Their scenes and sets proceeding.
Yet, when lit,
No more than hearth light
And a peasant’s shadow.

How the seconds tick,
The Ages click,
Each stroke a lug sound grinding, grabbing,
Lock tooth to wheel.
Each Age a clunk,
A clunk resonating, resounding,
Ending in its mortal note.
Each stroke a fell knight parting time,
Parting light and dark, day and night
With blade and icy steel.

Yet for You the Ages flow,
Deep, deep and slow,
Like a seamless silent river.
All the little noises,
The rattle of men and empires, kingdoms and clans,
Their rasping metallic dreams,
Their pathos and bathos,
Their new religious abrasions,
Are all swallowed in Your quiet patience.

Though they chronicle, wager and swagger,
Build their greatest cities and thrones into little hills,
Who among them can say: ‘We were there….’
Or who declare: ‘In the beginning…..’?

Only You, You Three.
And then those who are and were yours,
Your host beside You.

Were they your companions,
Or merely angelic creatures,
Clothed in figments of your dream?

Did you need to wait until this last Age
For closer friends and family?

I think not.
You wait for nothing,
And need nothing,
Though for us you waited.

How could there ever be
Limits or extension to your intimacy,
Unless, it is your will to make them?

For Love knows no end,
Nor fears,
And yet is shy,
Gentle to reach out to friends
And bathe all in His song of light.

Elliott Tepper

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