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O Present Grace

From the June 1961 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Grace is not something far from where we are:
a glimmering shore, across dark wastes of sea,
or star fixed high from us in space, while we
below, doomed to this dust, can do no more
than strain with our eyes to stare at it—the sign
perceived, the substance unpossessed. Grace
is no thing apart like this. It is more near
(O how near! how!) than flesh to bone, or pulse,
or breath, or even inmost beat of heart.
There is no word to tell how close it is,
being the very presence in our midst
of what announces to us who we are:
not once upon a time, or somewhere else,
but here, this instant—in this room or street—
here the light springs about our lifted heads;
the houses leap, as psalm like as young lambs;
boughs are in bloom, and all bloom comes to fruit,
while on the air such sound of laughter breaks
so fresh, so clear, from each and every throat,
that song is proved the substance of our speech
as dance is found in every move we make.

For here, right here, not glimmering far from us,
the bright land lies, we tread the golden shore;
and here, here—into our very hands
like this—
the morning star.