O Light supreme, uplifted high above
Our power of grasping, grant, I pray, my mind
May yet be rendered able, through your love
To glimpse a little of your glory, and to find
The words with which those fragments may be told
Within these verse which I leave behind
That if my memory may yet be bold,
By future generations shall be known
Your splendor than as once it was of old…
Eternal light, eternally alone,
You smile to know yourself, and only might
You by yourself be ever fully known.
I see you as a ring of coloured light
Which, when my dazzled glance at last I raise,
And, as my eye accustoms to the sight,
Seems to contain a human form, ablaze
With the same colour as the light divine –
So strange I cannot tear away my gaze.
Geometry as yet cannot define
A circle’s area as a square, we know
These are two systems which will not combine.
Nor does our language words enough bestow
With which the truths of heaven can be shown
In human terms created here below.
I could not fly so high, till from your throne
A flash of light showed what no words can prove:
What cannot be described may yet be known.
My fancy fails – you, God, are far above
My mind, which human weakness mars
Yet heart and will may still be turned by love –
The love that moves the sun and all the stars.
Danta Alighieri, 1265 – 1321, Italian poet and politian
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made his light shine in our hearts
to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory
displayed in the face of Christ.