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The Rose

A white rose opens in a quiet arbour Where I sit reading Dante, Paradise unfolding in me, opens hour by hour, In sunlight and amidst the hum of bees On a late afternoon. I think of how Everything flowers, the whole universe Itself is still unfolding even now,

Sprung from a stem of singularity Which petals time and space. I think of how The very elements that let my body be Began and will continue in the stars Whose light and distance frame our mystery, And how my shadowed heart still loves, still bears With every beat that animates my being,

Eternal yearnings through the turning years. I turn back to the lines that light my seeing And lift me to the limits of all thought And long that I might also find that freeing And enabling Love, and so be caught And lifted into His renewing Heaven. Evening glimmers and the stars come out. Venus is shining clear. My prayers are woven Into a sounding song, a symphony, As all creation gives back what is givenIn music made to praise the Mystery Who is both gift and giver. Something stirs A grace in me beyond my memory. I close the book and look up at the stars. “Three Poems on the Paradiso” by Malcolm Guite

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