The Song of the Hermit


Rain on the window and the lone wind sighing,

Sighing in the branches of the gaunt old elm-tree;

Sighing and a-sobbing like a soul in agony,

Screaming in the riven crags and sadly dying.


Rain on the threshold, blown in on the flooring,

Rain in the chimney, on the embers falling;

The night is a torrent through deep dark valleys calling,

Calling where the caverns brood o’er black river roaring.


Through the pane of the window where the rain is beating

Its rap on the glass, on my own heart its drumming,

I see one red flicker, my Master He is coming,

Just one red flicker, here and gone, quickly fleeting.


He tells me of the sins men commit with every breath.

He tells me of their jealousies, their hungry lusts, their strife;

Their fearful little vanities, their headlong fall in life,

And their cowardly repentance when face to face with death.


When the rain is asleep and the stars swim out like tears,

And the wind sinks to murmur a slow sweet lullaby,

And the cascade grows drowsy, the great pools fuller lie,

And the world knows little of time and passing years;


Then my Master will leave me, treading softly less He waken

The flowers in their sleep, and my eyes His silent going

Watch, and gaze again, and my heart is overflowing

For that happy, happy hour when my soul to him is taken.


Weekly Times  7.4.61