Far Horizons

by Bliss Carman


 

PRAYERS TO THE ARCHANGELS


 

I

 

RAPHAEL, angel of love,
Lord of the morning star,—
Splendor all proof above,
Glory beheld afar,—

Shine as though didst of old

5
Through the dark Syrian night,
For seeking eyes to behold
Thy promise and portent of light.

Over our trail in the dust,
Lead through the darkness still

10
To the waiting world of our trust
Beyond the cross-sown hill.

Kindle our hearts with fire
As the peaks are kindled with morn,
And quicken our steps to aspire

15
As spring through the earth is born.

 

II

 

Gabriel, giver of knowledge,
Master of reason and thought,
Leader in ways of wisdom
For the wayward and untaught;
20

When through the many voices,—
The rote of the sea and the rain,
The whispering snow and the thunder,
And the ancient wind’s refrain,—

The Unknown speaks to mortals

25
And the eager Soul gives ear,
Grant thou the understanding
That shall make the meaning clear.

Open our eyes to glory
As only a seraph can,

30
And teach us the angel’s measure
Of the stature and freedom of man.

 

III

 

Great Michael of the flaming sword,
Unfearing, swift and strong,
Thou art the doer of the word,
35
The conqueror of wrong.

Of no avail were all the light
And love of Raphael,
If thou wert not at hand to smite
Traitor and infidel.

40

And hope would not survive the hour
Of Gabriel’s “All hail!”
Save by thy pure unflinching power
To make the word prevail.

Then, Michael, give us grace to stand

45
Where still thy sword-flash gleams,
And love accepts thy stern command—
To win the world for dreams.