Of Tears

Greybeard love I’ve watched your withered hand on sacred bread,
The unfirm footstep altar-bound, the bowed and frosted head.
And I have dared imagine days when you shall walk no more,
But pass ahead afloat our tears through heaven’s open door.
   And I have cried to know that I shall have to bear that day,
   And sing our love in tears of pain when you have passed away.
Gentle child on parent hand awakening to surprise,
Held up to view the myst’ries with wide and open eyes–
Oh, I’ve imagined days when you shall see the grey on me
And weep the day I pass away while knowing I am free.
   And I have smiled to think what tears might sing that I have gone
   And whisper gentle pains of love when I have wandered on.
The birth of two, the death of one, the life of more and more,
As love across the ages flows as tears onto the floor;
Delight of generations and the pain of weary loss,
A union past imagining united in the cross.
   And I have sighed to know that love begets the tears of pain,
   And love outlives the blessed grief when we shall love again.


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