Louise Driscoll

(1875-1957 / United States)

The Second Coming - Poem by Louise Driscoll

A strange thing the preacher said,
And proved it by the Book.
He told all people who could hear
To watch and wait, and look
To see their risen Lord appear,
That Jesus who was dead.

How curious it will be!
The blue, familiar sky
Cracked open suddenly.
Broken from east to west
Like an old dish, a bowl,
Blue china, just now whole,
Now broken, as though dropped
By a careless maid. Then stopped
Will be all laughter, and the sun,
His long course run,
Will stand still suddenly,
And people in the street
Will stop and look to see
Archangels pass and meet,
A light- music, maybe-
Angelic hosts and choirs,
And saints bowing before
A shining, swinging door
And tending altar fires.

How the thief will stay
His furtive, skillful hand!
What will the liar say?
The plotter, quite confused,
Will face the true judgment,
Sly men with ill intent
Will stagger, faint at heart
No one may stand apart
And claim a separate case.
We must stand face to face
With Him who lived and died,
He whom men crucified,
He rose again,
And judges men.

If He should come today
We'd see the soldiers stand
Each with his tool in hand.
The drowned from the deep sea
Would bring old jewels caught
In their wet, streaming hair.
What secrets will be there
When from old graves the dead
Creep whispering! Overhead
A rain of shining wings,
Scents, colors, and such things
As we have never seen or known
Poured from the great, white Throne!

We do not all believe.
No, there are some who say
That these old tales deceive,
And day will follow day
To some logical end.
We shall still earn and spend,
Eat, sleep, and by and by
Stop struggling and die.
And some have never heard,
And some men do not care.
How they will stand and stare
When stars remember the lost word
And sing, and the skies fall!
That high, blue, shining wall
Of Heaven- larkspur blue-
Will crumble and fall down,
And flame encircle all the earth
Like a great jeweled crown.

Will any of us cry out?
'O God,' will someone say,
'Why don't you put some of these things
In a great box with fastenings,
With locks and seals- to use again,
To give, perhaps, to other men
On worlds less lovely than this one
Whose day is ended and whose work is done!
In Heaven is there no treasury
For beauty of this earth and sea?
Green fields that never sinned,
And flowers innocent,
White highways where the wind
Ran between faithful trees,
And valleys redolent
Of green herbs where the bees
Go honey seeking- these-
Have you no use for them?'

And we who love the turquoise cave,
Will there be some among us who
Will try to catch the stars and save
Some bits of immemorial blue
To carry with us, like the shells
That children carry from the sea,
For keepsakes in eternity?


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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 15, 2016



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