A death-like dew was falling
On the herbs and the grassy ground;
The stars to their bournes prest forward,
Night cloaked the hills around.
He thought of a night long past, -
Of the ladder that reached to heaven,
The Face that shone above it,
The pillar, his pillows of even.
From out of the sleeve of the darkness
Was thrust an arm of strength, -
Long he wrestled for mastery,
But begged for blessing at length.
White fear fell on him at dawn,
As the Nameless spake with him then;
"Prevailer and Prince," called He him,
"A power with God and with men."
And, alone, the lame wrestler mused:
"The Face of God is this place!
Ah me - and my life is preserved,
Yet God have I seen face to face!"
Life's darkness is background for God,
For unsleeping Love's high command,
And the shadowy heap of each life
Is revealed at the touch of His hand.
And the arm of Love doth wrestle
All night by the fords we cross,
To shrivel our sinews of self
And give His blessing for loss.
Night shows the houses of heaven,
O pilgrim for life's journey shod!
And from out the sleeve of darkness
Is thrust the arm of God.