Martyrs

The trees stood dying at the eventide,

When heaven’s courts were lit,

With blood and fire as the Sun fell.

 

The trees stood dying by the riverside:

The streams of life were lit,

With blood and fire as the Sun fell.

 

The trees stood dying as the summer died:

Their healing leaves were lit,

With blood and fire as the Sun fell.

 

I saw them on the hill

When death was painted there;

And they are with me still:

Their witness is enduring,

Where trunks stand bleak and bare.

 

Though blood and fire and pain

Lay buried in the earth

And washed away with rain,

Their witness were enduring,

For death is more than birth.

 

How heaven’s healers stood

And suffered to the full!

Can pain be counted good,

For witness so enduring?

Can death be beautiful,

With blood and fire as the Sun fell?

Art of a Mathematician