POETRY: The Dark Encounter, by Thomas Merton

O night of admiration, full of choirs,
O night of deepest praise,
And darkness full of triumph:
What secret and intrepid Visitor
Has come to crack our sepulcher?
He softly springs the locks of death
In the foretold encounter!

O silence with no syllable for weapon,
Drunk with valor,
Whose speechless wonder solves the knots of flesh our captor:
Dower desires with your eloquence!

O darkness full of warning and abandon,
(Disarming every enemy,
Slaying the meaning of the mind’s alarms)

Why do our steps still hesitate
Upon the threshold of incredible possession,
The sill of the tremendous rest,
Reading the riddle of His unexpected question?

O silence full of exclamation!
It is the time of the attack.
Our eyes are wider than the word: “Aware.”
O darkness full of vision, vivid night,
Defying the frontier.

O silence full of execution,
All intuition and desire lie destroyed
When Substance is our Conqueror.
O midnight full of victory,
And silence of the wonderful acclaim,
And darkness full of sweet delight.

O night of admiration, full of choirs,
O night of deepest praise,
And darkness full of sweet delight!
What secret and intrepid Visitor
Has come to raise us from the dead?
He softly springs the locks of time, our sepulcher,
In the foretold encounter.

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