Originally published at Ithilien.
Perhaps to the clear-eyed angel
There was nothing in the word he brought but glory:
Infinite splendor in a point of flesh,
Bursting, breaking through the veil of blood and mucus,
Passing through a narrow gate
To fill creation with redoubled light.
Only the old man, his rheumy eyes
Blurred with false hopes,
Back scarred by Roman rods,
Feet hard with trudging up the stony hill
To watch the heroes die,
Only he, perhaps, could taste in his body the sourness of the sweet word,
Could see the sword quivering in the stainless heart,
And know in what bitter way the glory comes.