In St. Mary's Church — Fredricksburg, TX
High above the altar, looking down,
The stained-glass angel smiles almost unseen,
At generations passing through below,
Some raise their eyes as if to heaven,
But most who mill about and greet their friends,
Then listen to the music and the Word,
Perhaps sensing the stirring of the soul,
Then leave to sleep and dream another week.
But something in that light, those eyes,
Would not let my soul go, and spoke somehow
Of souls who walked upon this self-same ground,
Who lived and toiled and loved and died, yet built
Out of the stone and wood and sacrifice,
This space, where light would stream within and touch
These eyes someday—these eyes, this soul, this time.
Yes, they had come over the Western sea,
Knowing full well that many would not live
To see this place, and yet they came, and built.
And I dream I was there with them, and shared
Their dreams, as they looked out upon the vast,
Uncharted space, and imagined a world,
Where Man’s birthright of free and boundless Mind
Would thrive amidst the beauty of this land.
Perhaps they, too, had thought of those before,
Who dreamed in ancient times of temples great,
Who looked out to the star-lit night and felt
The call of their great destiny, the thought
That we are of the same eternal stuff
That burns and glows and beckons from above,
Above and out we reach, and even when
The body is enslaved, the spirit soars,
And cannot be contained! And this we give
To generations yet to come, we are,
Or all would be, as angels smiling down
To touch the souls of those we will not see,
But love, for we are all of the same seed.
Yes, even as the distant star explodes,
And hurls its fiery particles afar,
It spawns the birth of worlds light years away
To be the home of innumerable souls!
All destruction leading to creation,
And ever higher and more beautiful
And good, which we have eyes and minds to see.
And this is what some simple artisan,
Who toiled over the colored glass and lead,
And brought into the world this light and form,
Was moved by unseen forces to conceive,
Although he never spoke it, never sang,
But seems to do so as I listen now.
Daniel Leach is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and poetry. His volume of poetry, compiling over 20 years of composition, is entitled "Voices on the Wind."