I thank my God I have emerged at last,
Blinking from Hell, to see these quiet stars,
Bewildered by the shadows that I cast.
You set me on this stair, in those rich hours
Pacing your study, chanting poetry.
The Word in you revealed his quickening powers,
Removed the daily veil, and let me see,
As sunlight played along your book-lined walls,
That words are windows onto mystery.
From Eden, whence the living fountain falls
In music, from the tower of ivory,
And from the hidden heart, he calls
In the language of Adam, creating memory
Of unfallen speech. He sets creation
Free from the carapace of history.
His image in us is imagination,
His Spirit is a sacrifice of breath
Upon the letters of his revelation.
In mid-most of the word-wood is a path
That leads back to the springs of truth in speech.
You showed it to me, kneeling on your hearth,
You showed me how my halting words might reach
To the mind’s maker, to the source of Love,
And so you taught me what it means to teach.
Teaching, I have my ardours now to prove,
Climbing with joy the steps of Purgatory.
Teacher and pupil, both are on the move,
As fellow pilgrims on a needful journey.
De Magistro by Malcolm Guite