Joseph Mary Plunkett – The Dark Way

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Rougher than Death the road I choose
Yet shall my feet not walk astray,
Though dark, my way I shall not lose
For this way is the darkest way.

Set but a limit to the loss
And something shall at last abide
The blood-stained beams that form the cross
The thorns that crown the crucified;

But who shall lose all things in One,
Shut out from heaven and the pit
Shall lose the darkness and the sun
The finite and the infinite;

And who shall see in one small flower
The chariots and the thrones of might
Shall be in peril from that hour
Of blindness and the endless night;

And who shall hear in one short name
Apocalyptic thunders seven
His heart shall flicker like a flame
Twixt hell’s gates and the gates of heaven.

For I have seen your body’s grace,
The miracle of the flowering rod,
And in the beauty of your face,
The glory of the face of God,

And I have heard the thunderous roll
Clamour from heights of prophecy
Your splendid name, and from my soul
Uprose the clouds of minstrelsy.

Now I have chosen in the dark
The desolate way to walk alone
Yet strive to keep alive one spark
Of your known grace and grace unknown.

And when I leave you lest my love
Should seal your spirit’s ark with clay,
Spread your bright wings, O shining dove,—
But my way is the darkest way.

Joseph Mary Plunkett

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