The Mirror of Souls
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
The day was dark in the dusk of the world
In the shadow of sin walked the sons of Adam
And the offspring of Eve to its yoke were chained.
The groans and the grief of God's children
The sobs and the sighs of endless sorrows untold
Went unheard and unheeded by the high of this world.
Their sight did not see through the shade of desire
And the words for their woes the weight to relieve
Fell dead in their deeds that undone were kept.
In the fog and the fires, in the flurry and the cold
Beneath serpents of sparks that scorched the black sky
With blinking and glittering of false lights surround
And between towers, their testaments of thrift in steel,
Blared horns of haste and hatred unbarred
From monsters of malice in madness consumed
Down streets with smoke in obscurity wreathed
In the shadow of sin in the City of Man.
The faces of the fragile, the façades of the strong
Of none did he notice, nor note did Thomas take
As the burn of the belly and the abandon of lust
Consumed his soul and enshrouded his heart.
For new conquests his conscience was quieted full
And his reason made retainer to his ravenous hunger
The memory of his mother, her mentions of concern
And his father's wise foresight in forbearance advised
Were lost and relinquished with great levity long ago.
As he ventured passed a vagrant, his vexation aroused,
With disdain Thomas did deny the man's duress most clear
Then refused from his food to furnish his request
And tossed to the trash his treasure most prized.
Then arrested he lived a life in the lamp of his mind
In the alleys of squalor and the avenues of filth
For long years did he yearn, his yoke to cast off
Yet the stench and the stain and the suspicion he met
Were as nought to the nothingness to which his neglect
Had cast him to be kept in the cacophony of death
His dignity lost and his desires in their discarding forgotten
He waited for the world to awaken and remember.
His family and his friends did he fail long ago
And in their hurt their hearts became hardened as stone
Now for death, its decision most definite did he await
The only hope for his harrowing its help he longed
Yet as afar could he foresee what fate was prepared
Amidst light and love and full life overflowing
He is enthroned, with thorns on his top is he crowned
And robed as though royalty and received to joy eternal
Yet by the hand of the Helper is his homicide committed
His death by the deed of the Indebted was done.
From the vita of the vagrant did Thomas' vision conclude
And with new sight did he see him, forsaken and alone
Yet in his heart he could not hear what to heed he was called
In the cloud of his conceit he curtained his heart
With the bars of his bondage his benevolence was confined
And forged by the fires of the fear which he nursed.
So he went on his way with his warning left unheeded
The quiet voice sent to invigorate, its advice he ignored.
As he went on his way for his will to satisfy
Onto black streets Thomas stepped without concern or regret
Yet the mask of the moneyless to his mind returned
And the hardness of his heart its hindrance was cracked
Then the bleat of infernal bells his emboldenment did interrupt
With a screech and a scream the monstrous savage rushed on
And his sight was consumed by its shining lights ablaze
For his death to descend in its darkness he assumed
And was filled with a flood of his faults long suppressed.
Not yet ordained was his demise in the design of God's plan
And in His love He relented and for his release He sent
A messenger for His mission to mediate His grace
The City of Man with its stifling fumes and ceaseless frenzy
At once did it wane and unwound was its time
Unmoving and immobile, motionless it became
And through the shock of his escape from the surety of death
Thomas beheld one not human nor of humbler origin
And he fell on his face at the feet of his guide
The gleam of his glory did glow like the Sun
His eyes were keen as the edge of a blade
In his hand he upheld what was harrowing to behold:
A shard of seeing-glass with its façade like a mirror
And himself did Thomas see, all conceit burned away
His ruin made clear, the horror of his wreckage manifest
He cried out and recoiled and declined to bear witness
And begged for some respite from the doom he was shown
In his mercy the messenger did admit his request
And concealed the glass shard in the shirring of his bright robes.
'Thine guardian am I, and guarded thee from the grave I did
An angel of God and thy companion in this life so assigned.
Now Thomas son of Timothy of the family of Thorne
As a sign was I sent for the sake of thy soul
To lead and to guide thee to the heights and the depths
To show thy sundering - or thine espousal - prepared for thee.'
He was upraised for to stand and upstanding so became
And the hand of his helper to him was outstretched
With a smile most consoling for solace the angel gave
And at his touch all his tension was extinguished all at once.
Yet as the city became a shadow of the self he once knew
Still doubt, for his demise, clutched the depths of his heart
And the hope for his humbling, behold he could not.
To his eyes did the angel his bright hand overlay
Then unveiled to reveal a new vision of his world
As Thomas surveyed his settings beyond the surface was made clear
The true depths of the divide through the doors of the spirit.
The shades of the souls who on the streets walked by
By the chains of their collars, to their cravings enslaved
Led by demons who like dogs to their conductors obeyed
The monsters of mayhem and malice ablaze
Did rejoice in their rage and their ravenous hunger
To conspire for souls in their spite without end
As infernos of fear and unfathomable darkness.
Yet a war they did wage without winning to hope
Against the angels whose charges to keep were assigned
Their bright lights golden burning as they battled untiring
To bring hope for true Heaven in the heights far beyond.
Across a coven of covetousness, a cave of unbounded greed
Passed a family whose love flamed in a fury encasing
In a shield of asylum in the obscenity of the world.
At the edge of his eyesight a view could he see
Of a cathedral with its turrets entrenched and engulfed
In the fires and the floods and the famine of souls
While beside it was seated for a sacrifice enthroned
A child who was chosen, for a crime was it charged
And for its life it to lose for the luxury of the lost
In the maw of the machine of the madness of indulgence.
'Can thee not see through thy sight by sin obscured
The plight of this people in their poverty most deprived
Of the kindness and compassion and the charity of love?'
And so Thomas to detect the truth was then returned
To behold in his humiliation and his hardship the man
Whose life he had lived yet for his lack gave no care
Now did perceive by his sight a scene which he abhorred
The man who with great mirth and maniacal laughter
Was whipped and wounded by the words and misdeeds
Of the demons who him despoiled, and the dissolute passers-by
With their derision and their ridicule and the disregard of their neglect.
'If thine eyes will not see, nor thy heart become opened
For thy hand to heap out from thy harvest of gifts
Then in the love of the Lord to live will thou not
And entombed in thy destitution will interminate thou remain.'
As he watched he did witness what his wreckage so produced
When in flames was the framework around the vagabond caught up
Yet none would take notice who in neglect him ignored
And while he begged for the beggar his benefit to plead
Beside him he saw a sycamore most lush
Be caught up in conflagration and consumed in flames
Its bough made barren, broken and charred.
Then Thomas felt sheets of rainstorm for their sorrow to relieve
Pour down from the depths and descend from on high
And fall down his face, his affliction expressed
Yet as the angel uplifted and his eyes did alight
At his heart were the hands of the Hellions still clutched
And whether deserved what he desired he doubted the outcast
And for himself he still usurped what for certainty belonged to God
In his neglect he yet denied the notion of His love
And thus remained in his mind beneath the mastery of his sin.