Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Epiphany by T. S. Elliot

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error
The only hope, or else despair,
    Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre --
    To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
    We only live, only suspire
    Consumed by either fire or fire.

-- Quartet No. 4 "Little Gidding" from Four Quartets

1 comment:

Viola Larson said...

The Christian, who one of my atheist teacher felt had just become too enamored with the Anglo-world.
But hardly with that kind of passionate poetry. It isn’t about idealism but about the suffering of Christand our choice to be part of that. Thanks Chris.