In The Beginning

The lights of the city gleam and glow
In the misty purple dusk,
Bursting out of the grimy globes
Like tropical fruits from the husk:
A myriad sparkling orbs of light, —
Violet, golden, scarlet, white, —
Blazing up at the stars of night.

But the light was not in the globes;
Man’s hand has led it there,
His power, his thought, the wonder wrought,
Captured and chained the flare;
And the light obeys his will,
The mind of man and his skill.

But back of the light is the power house,
Where the great wheels tireless turn,
Where the pulleys lift and the gearings shift,
And the roaring fires burn.
And back of the power the mine,
Where the toiling slaves of the Lamp
Burrow like moles in the black pit- holes
In the dust and the deadly damp.

And back of the mine are the buried trees
Where the strong winds laid them low,
Charred by the fires of centuries,
Smoldering deep and slow;
The days of the Lord are a thousand years,
The eves and the morns of the circling spheres,
And a thousand thousand lingering days
Passed over the trees and the hidden blaze.

And back of the charred trees are the green,
When the columnar shafts rose high;
And back of the forest the white-hot sun.
With its cords of the heat and the moisture spun
Drawing the seedlings out of the earth,
Up and up to the sky.

And back of the sun is the Voice, that spoke
Unto the light, and the light awoke;
From the dateless dawning of Time it rings,
From the dim, forgotten beginning of things;
And back of the Voice is the Word;
And the formless void heard
And the face of the deep was stirred.
And back of the Word is omnipotent Thought,
Omniscient Spirit, in power that wrought,
Infinite, Triune Creator, who brought
Light from the darkness and Life from the clod;
In the beginning, God.

~~ Annie Johnson Flint, 1866-1932

The Amber Lily – Out of Doors: Nature Songs, by Annie Johnson Flint