Absence of belief is like absence of light, a dark night
never relieved; it snares the unbeliever in a wild solitude,
wretched in spirit, facing a stride away the blackness
where all his ways come to dead end, where the light
he can bring to bear, his only light, is the torch of ignorance.
In that darkness his imagination is cruelly imprisoned
disabling perception; he discerns neither beginnings nor ends;
nothingness looms monstrously out of bottomless despair;
everything appears confused, ill-proportioned, futile, lost,
a chaos of particles blown by poisonous interstellar winds.
But the believer’s spirit, like his world, is consoled by light
as bright as sunlit sky, a wide-dimensioned space where time
unfolds in purposed direction; and earth displays its beauties
interlinked and opening out like petals; where all paths turn
through infinite, measured variety toward a brighter Paradise.
In that light his imagination is compassionately freed:
enabling vision of eternal spring under glistening clouds,
the spirit can surrender itself to a brief, peaceful sleep,
the heart flies like an arrow to its rest, and shining horizons
beckon to an infinite expanse of light pouring down.
Believing souls traverse that expanse to eternal life
where their dreams are vivid with memories of their past...
their traversing is itself a dream-like journey and surely
they attain their journey’s end, having so earnestly desired it
in the depths of their hearts and in their spirits battled
so mightily against errors of self hood and human arrogance.