Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

What solitary distances, what sere,
remote escarpments, what unbounded, wide
eternities they are where you reside,
in which no creatures of your hand appear!

What desolated vistas, and how drear!
Over clear pools, that solitude must bide,
await your sowing like a holy bride,
to cast off widowhood when you draw near.

The orphaned sky descends, graceless and gray,
to angry thistles in the deep ravine
loud with the bristling of the wounded air.

O dawn, O shepherd! Come and take away
this thirst for you”your shining still unseen
by virgin mountains that await you there!