August Moon

20 08 2014

In the smooth grey heaven is poised the pale half moon
And sheds on the wide grey river a broken reflection.
Out from the low church-tower the boats are moored
After the heat of the day, and await the dark.

And here, where the side of the road shelves into the river
At the gap where barges load and horses drink,
There are no horses.    And the river is full
And the water stands by the shore and does not lap.

And a barge lies up for the night this side of the island,
The bargeman sits in the bows and smokes his pipe
And his wife by the cabin stirs.    Behind me voices pass.

Calm sky, calm river: and a few calm things reflected.
And all as yet keep their colours; the island osiers,
The ash-white spots of umbelliferous flowers,
And the yellow clay of its bank, the barge’s brown sails
That are furled up the mast and then make a lean triangle
To the end of the hoisted boom, and the high dark slips
Where they used to build vessels, and now build them no more.

All in the river reflected in quiet colours.
Beyond the river sweeps round in a bend, and is vast,
A wide grey level under the motionless sky
And the waxing moon, clean cut in the mole-grey sky.
Silence.    Time is suspended; that the light fails
One would not know were it not for the moon in the sky,
And the broken moon in the water, whose fractures tell
Of slow broad ripples that otherwise do not show,
Maturing imperceptibly from a pale to a deeper gold,
A golden half moon in the sky, and broken gold in the water.

In the water, tranquilly severing, joining, gold:
Three or four little plates of gold on the river:
A little motion of gold between the dark images
Of two tall posts that stand in the grey water.

There are voices passing, a murmur of quiet voices,
A woman’s laugh, and children going home.
A whispering couple, leaning over the railings,
And, somewhere, a little splash as a dog goes in.

I have always known all this, it has always been,
There is no change anywhere, nothing will ever change.

I heard a story, a crazy and tiresome myth.

Listen! behind the twilight a deep low sound
Like the constant shutting of very distant doors,

Doors that are letting people over there
Out to some other place beyond the end of the sky.

John Collings Squire

 And he was going throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his journey toward Jerusalem.  And someone said to him, “Lord, are there only a few who are saved?”

And he said to them, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able to,  when once the master of the house has gotten up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’

And he will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from!’

 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets!’

And he will reply, saying to you, ‘I do not know where you are from! Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 

In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown outside! And they will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.  And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Luke 13:22-30 (Lexham English Bible)

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