We have endured long in the dark.
It is a burden (A magic? A madness?) particular
To us. Long endurance of darkness is not light,
But speaks of a belief that light’s radiance
Merits enduring long in the dim we know—
In the dusk we are.
The world is a bone
Full of Christ-marrow; its sun a merely
Mortal star, spending itself to lighten
What it can, just as the Godman upon
Entering our long dark did, except
In his mortality—no mereness.
He will put flesh again on this
Old bone, the world, his own
Milk-fed flesh in the great
Stable dark, a holy darkness:
All the void
This is, and has been,
And shall be.
What Mary treasured up
In her heart was Death
Leaving the carcass of the world
At his arrival. She treasured up
The world alive, all alive
With a brightness
That turns the noble sun
Feature Image Advent and Triumph of Christ by Hans Memling, 1480.