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I had imagined light this morn
that in the pale east rose reborn
at sun's return this first young day
as through the mists a rift was torn

and slowly woke the leaden grey
of cloud to brilliant display,
as mingled flame in flooding swell
above the waiting city lay

and on the banks of towers fell
to burn away the outer shell
and turn to spears of golden glare
the teeming hives where mortals dwell

and fierce and trembling shook the air
and stripped each lingering shadow bare
each moment stronger still it grew
with every heartbeat more aware

the colours clearer and more true
the old familiar world we knew
at once dissolved and lost in light
and of its radiance forged anew

So at the ending of the night
I woke from scattered dreams of fright
and to the window went to try
in furtive hope, this longed-for sight:

instead, the same cold dismal sky
unchanged and barren met my eye:
the falling raindrops mixed with snow
above the crowds that hurried by

But in pursuit of dazzling show
we in this darkened world below
deceived by gleam and glittering rays
fall blind to our own hidden glow

and dimly stumbling through our days
forget the light that would amaze
and kindle all the world to flame
if we allowed ourselves to blaze.

Cross-posted from http://adventcanticle.blogspot.ca. For background on my Advent Canticle project, see Introduction.

Previous Advent Canticle entries:

Prelude (An Advent Canticle)

Part 1:
"He came without clamor" (December 1, An Advent Canticle)
"O in the fields the blossoms blow" (December 2, An Advent Canticle)
"It started in November" (December 3, An Advent Canticle)
"It was the usual tedious family gathering" (December 4, An Advent Canticle)
"It started with the news that Caspar brought." (December 5, An Advent Canticle)
"Varus, old boy, it's been a dreadful year." (December 6, An Advent Canticle)
"Lully, lullay, lullaby" (December 7, An Advent Canticle)
"And so at last diplomacy had failed..." (December 8, An Advent Canticle)

Part 2:
"Come, open your eyes..." (Prelude II, December 9, An Advent Canticle)
"And every year the weather gets more squirrely" (Dec. 10, An Advent Canticle)
"Fear Not!" (December 11, An Advent Canticle)
"I quit!" (December 12, An Advent Canticle)
"Midwinter Nocturne" (December 13, An Advent Canticle)
"Some say, on that first morning..." (December 14, An Advent Canticle)
"For the Children of the Sandy Hook Tragedy" (December 15, An Advent Canticle)
"On Employees Who Take Too Much Initiative" (December 16, An Advent Canticle)

Part 3:
"Sing a New Song..." (December 17, An Advent Canticle)
"The Second Coming" (December 18, An Advent Canticle)
"In The Green Midwinter" (December 19, An Advent Canticle)
"A Lullaby For Solstice Evening" (December 20, An Advent Canticle)

Originally posted to Green Canticle on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets , Anglican Kossacks, and Indigo Kalliope.

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