Score thousands suns bound my time.
Mark my beginning
and will mark my demise.
The count of them braced round my neck,
Ere I was born.
Into these wild lands.
From before I was with the father of man.
Shaded below his tall frame.
Tutted or smiled at?
I cannot know
Can never know.
From before even that
More ancient than that
I took an oath
A binding oath
That I forgot
Except in my bones.
Except in my blood.
Except in my being
The very centre of what it means to be me.
They remember it now and then
At those times when they bruise and bleed
Or when the very fear of life goes out of them.
But I do not.
And I cannot.
At those times what my mouth says astonishes me;
"Does it know more than I what know?"
Does it call that which I hope for,
Or that which I dread.
Do I try to stop it.
Smother and choke it.
Or have I heard those words before?
Will my hands be made to speak.
And my lips be made dumb.
Wouldst that they plead my foolishness,
Whilst my hands would prove my guilt.
Am I alone with no helper who would intercede for me?
No action or intention made whole and real that would free me?
No good deed that could come to my aid?
At the ending the sun might set,
And I yet live.
Believing that I make who I am.
And I will good, and help not for myself.
But for the pleasure of my LORD, most gracious.
That HE might bind me with robes of gold and silver.
That HE might love to forgive me all my sins
That HE might cause me to enter through the intercession of HIS Messenger.
The greatest of Men,
The blessed of Men,
Due abundance and excellence manifold.
Peace and Salutations upon you, O Messenger of God.
Who taught so well.
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