The journey through another world, beyond bad dreamsbeyond the memories of a murdered generation, cartographed in captivity by bare survivorsmakes sacristans of us all. The old ones go our bail, we oblate preachers of our tribes. Be careful, they say, don't hock the beads of kinship agonies; the moire-effect of unfamiliar hymnsupon our own, a change in pitch or shrillness of the voicetransforms the ways of song to words of poetry or proseand makes distinctionsno one recognizes. Surrounded and absorbed, we tread like Etruscanson the edge of useless law; we prayto the giver of prayer, we give the cane whistlein ceremony, we swing the heavy silver chainof incense burners. Migration makes new citizens of Rome.
We are here in a wood of little beeches: And the leaves are like black lace Against a sky of nacre. One bough of clear promise Across the moon. It is in this wise that God speaketh unto me. He layeth hands of healing upon my flesh, Stilling it in an eternal peace, Until my soul reaches out myriad and infinite hands Toward him, And is eased of its hunger. And I know that this passes: This implacable fury and torment of men, As a thing insensate and vain: And the stillness hath said unto me, Over the tumult of sounds and shaken flame, Out of the terrible beauty of wrath, I alone am eternal. One bough of clear promise Across the moon