The Straight Road

 

Beyond the domed and blackened world,
Bright noon in night was ever furled.
That night was dark with scarce a star;
I saw that hope had strayed too far.

The cold, the vast and empty space
Where swept my cries cross time and place
Was where I stood, upon the pole;
The echoes rattled in my soul.

In frantic hunt and grim patrol
Around the bare celestial bowl,
The wide-encompassed endless plain,
Fast circled all my thought in vain.

"Where?" I cried. "I cannot see
Where You have gone, where You might be!"
The polar eve had scarce an arc,
The sun was hull down on the dark.

You look too far, dear child, He said.
The Road Iíve chosen you to tread
Waits at your feet, if you will trust.
My love is written in the dust.

Each step a day, each stride a week?
Is this the path that I must seek?
You step too hard, sweet child, for me.
Let go the burdens, leave them be.

"Where is Your face? I cannot see!
Who is it that will walk with me?
The Road is long to tread alone;
Must I endure it on my own?"

The stars burnt out, I cannot see
Where He has gone, where He might be.
My feet in shoes of clodded earth,
There is no wind to set me free.

"Your face," I cried, "I cannot see!"
Sweet child, He said. Iíll come to thee.
Look for me there beside the stile;
Iíll wait and walk with you the while.

I waited then, beside the stair
That climbed the wall that kept me there;
The weary way his footstep smote,
He stood by me in ragged coat.

Dear child, Iíll walk with you, He said.
I saw a Star above His head,
I saw the broken blade He bore,
The white tree from a sunken shore.

I looked and saw that He was gone.
My lonely Road stretched far beyond.
"Where have You gone?" I cried in fear.
"Where have You gone? I need You here!"

My child, He said. I heard His smile.
Iíve been beside you all the while.
Then bright, star-white He shone beside;
White shone the steed He was astride.

And then the Road was dusty-bare,
My champion no longer there.
"Donít leave me here!" I wept anew.
"I cannot walk apart from You!"

Iím with you, child, sweet child, He said.
But I thought He was the child instead.
He stepped beside me, small and slight,
Snow-white, blue-eyed, blue-eyed, snow-white.

 


C. Baillie / '03

 

 


Note: "White" in the last line, while inspired by Elijah/Frodo's startling type of beauty and pounced upon as satisfying
a necessary continuance of the preceding two metaphors' use of "white" as a poetical device, is meant to reference purity
of soul. Please do not take it as a racial slur. It certainly is not meant as one.

Christianity and Middle Earth