Deep in the dark I hear the feet of God:
He walks the world; He puts His holy hand
On every sleeper -- only puts His hand --
Within it benedictions for each one --
Then passes on; but ah! whene'er He meets
A watcher waiting for Him, He is glad.
(Does God, like man, feel lonely in the dark?)
He rests His hand upon the watcher's brow --
But more than that, He leaves His very breath
Upon the watcher's soul; and more than this,
He stays for holy hours where watchers pray;
And more than that, He ofttimes lifts the veils
That hide the visions of the world unseen.
The brightest sanctities of highest souls
Have blossomed into beauty in the dark.
How extremes meet! the very darkest crimes
That blight the souls of men are strangely born
Beneath the shadows of the holy night.
Deep in the dark I hear his holy feet --
Around Him rustle archangelic wings;
He lingers by the temple where His Christ
Is watching in His Eucharistic sleep;
And where poor hearts in sorrow cannot rest,
He lingers there to soothe their weariness.
Where mothers weep above the dying child,
He stays to bless the mother's bitter tears,
And consecrates the cradle of her child,
Which is to her her spirit's awful cross.
He shudders past the haunts of sin -- yet leaves
E'er there a mercy for the wayward hearts.
Still as a shadow through the night He moves,
With hands all full of blessings, and with heart
All full of everlasting love; ah, me!
How God does love this poor and sinful world!
The stars behold Him as He passes on,
And arch His path of mercy with their rays;
The stars are grateful -- He gave them their light,
And now they give Him back the light He gave.
The shadows tremble in adoring awe;
They feel His presence, and they know His face.
The shadows, too, are grateful -- could they pray,
How they would flower all His way with prayers!
The sleeping trees wake up from all their dreams --
Were their leaves lips, ah, me! how they would sing
A grand Magnificat, as His Mary sang.
The lowly grasses and the fair-faced flowers
Watch their Creator as He passes on,
And mourn they have no hearts to love their God,
And sigh they have no souls to be beloved.
Man -- only man -- the image of his God --
Lets God pass by when He walks forth at night.