The Artist’s hand is not gentle, but kind,
and some of us love it for its roughness,
feeling, “Some great thing must come out of us!”
and “What honor it is to be His clay!”
Yet sometimes we must wonder, we who are blind,
if He is not just a boy passing an idle day—
we are made on a fancy and then thrown away.
The weight of no paradigm consoles us,
and Truth is too elaborate for words.
Our souls are divided in halves and in thirds
as, bearing the tribulation, we wait;
His calloused, muscled fingers enfold us,
and we speak not, lest that hand should shake:
we know our doom and we call it Fate.
Yet a cross we saw on a scarlet hill
before our bones were bent and cracked,
our sin piled and our sorrows stacked.
We heard the Artist sing over us soothingly;
we blind may yet feel the force of his will
and justly deem it a fearful absurdity
to cast off the Artist and name ourselves free.
We stay, though we know not the end or the means.
Hope is our refuge in the death-angel’s year;
we know too well the ways of Hell and of fear,
a heavier yoke than that of the rood.
I think we all have dreamed the same dream:
the Artist beams down on the work he has wooed.
He raises his child to the light. “It is good.”