Great Muse of mythos, sing the haunting tune
That lingers where the long-lost Tree of Life
Has dropped her leaves—where, carried by the winds
Of common grace and mercy long predestined,
They long lie, forgotten by the earth
Wherein they mold and rot, and richen soil
Once quickened by the loving lungs of God.
The Tree of Tales, sprung from that sweet mulch,
By babel tongues spread wide throughout the world,
Fed by fear, by serpent’s shadow trellised,
Yet grown by grace and pruned by providence,
Echoes still in fair, unnumbered voices
A thousand variations on that tune
Forgot by Adam at the taste of night.
The dark deceiver in his glitt’ring guise
Takes on a thousand shapes, a thousand tongues,
Yet where he whispers his infernal lays—
The lying Set enthroned—Achilles slain—
Prometheus the friend of thwarted Man—
There, too, the Son shall rise to utter zenith,
The heel-stung hero high in glory stand.
So sing on, Muse! Thy tongue is not restrained
By him whose tongue the tow’ring heavens framed.
Rather say inspired, taught, unchained.
For if no God had made, no Satan schemed,
No Lamb essayed to die and live again,
Then should thy tales be babble, all in vain;
But Christ is come—he reigns. Thou Muse, sing on.
Poem taken from the 2018 edition of Artos, the literary journal of Bethlehem College & Seminary students. Photo by B. Williamson, BA ’19.