Rougher than Death the road I choose
Yet shall my feet not walk astray,
Though dark, my way I shall not lose
For this way is the darkest way.
Set but a limit to the loss
And something shall at last abide
The blood-stained beams that form the cross
The thorns that crown the crucified;
But who shall lose all things in One,
Shut out from heaven and the pit
Shall lose the darkness and the sun
The finite and the infinite;
And who shall see in one small flower
The chariots and the thrones of might
Shall be in peril from that hour
Of blindness and the endless night;
And who shall hear in one short name
Apocalyptic thunders seven
His heart shall flicker like a flame
‘Twixt hell’s gates and the gates of heaven.
For I have seen your body’s grace,
The miracle of the flowering rod,
And in the beauty of your face,
The glory of the face of God,
And I have heard the thunderous roll
Clamour from heights of prophecy
Your splendid name, and from my soul
Uprose the clouds of minstrelsy.
Now I have chosen in the dark
The desolate way to walk alone
Yet strive to keep alive one spark
Of your known grace and grace unknown.
And when I leave you lest my love
Should seal your spirit’s ark with clay,
Spread your bright wings, O shining dove, —
But my way is the darkest way.