The Wise: a Christmas Poem
Saw this poem mentioned in Richard Swenson’s In Search of Balance and found it here
Miles across the turbulent kingdoms
They came for it, but that was nothing,
That was the least. Drunk with vision,
Rain stringing in the ragged beards,
When a beast lamed, they caught up another
And goaded west.
For the time was on them.
Once, as it may, in the life of a man,
Once, as it was, in the life of mankind,
All is corrected. And their years of pursuit,
Raw-eyed reading the wrong texts,
Charting the doubtful calculations,
Those nights knotted with thought,
When dawn held off, and the rooster
Rattled the leaves with his blind assertion—
All that, they regarded, under the Sign,
No longer as search but as preparation.
For when the mark was made, they saw it.
Nor stopped to reckon the fallible years,
But rejoiced and followed,
And are called “wise”, who learned that Truth,
When sought and at last seen,
Is never found. It is given.
And they brought their camels
Breakneck into that village,
And flung themselves down in the dung and dirt of that place,
And kissed that ground, and the tears
Ran on their faces, where the rain had.