The Halfway House, Page XIX     

 
Saint Mark is singing at the desert’s end,

And what he sings rings round the clock and brings

The birds and beasts to rest, the traveller too:

          Christus vincit

          Christus regnat

          Christus imperat

 

The monks who smile, the friendly hermits who

Are dancing in the fields of flowers, the tall

Exalted childlike people, rapturous cry:

          Love wins

          Love reigns

          Love triumphs

 

The song he sings the martyrs sing as well,

Victorious, their story told once more,

Whose obelisk stands where Caesar’s circus was:

          Christus vincit

          Christus regnat

          Christus imperat

 

The young and old are young forever now,

The travellers are all come home at last,

The dark Egyptian world is rinsed of grief:

          Love wins

          Love reigns

          Love triumphs

 

The desert, was it ever where the fountains

Rise and fall? - the lakes, the cataracts,

The pools and rivers, all reflect the trees:

          Christus vincit

          Christus regnat

          Christus imperat

 

Those stones are radiant from within, that sand

Has coalesced, and, golden, shines below

The saints who skim across the rose-strewn fields:

          Love wins

          Love reigns

          Love triumphs

 

There stands the brilliant Conqueror, with His wounds

Emblazoned by a light more stunning than

The sun’s, and with His Heart in flames:

          Christus vincit

          Christus regnat

          Christus imperat

 

Our Lady, mantled in the full horizon,

The crescent moon beneath her feet, the stars

A circling aureole about her, sings:

          Love wins

          Love reigns

          Love triumphs

 

And all the angels answer:

          Love