Impenitentia Ultima
Before my light goes out for ever if God should
          give me a choice of graces,
   I would not reck of length of days, nor crave
          for things to be;
But cry: “One day of the great lost days, one face
          of all the faces,
   Grant me to see and touch once more and
          nothing more to see.
“For, Lord, I was free of all Thy flowers, but I
          chose the world’s sad roses,
   And that is why my feet are torn and mine eyes
          are blind with sweat,
But at Thy terrible judgment-seat, when this my
          tired life closes,
   I am ready to reap whereof I sowed, and pay my
          righteous debt.
“But once before the sand is run and the silver
          thread is broken,
   Give me a grace and cast aside the veil of
          dolorous years,
Grant me one hour of all mine hours, and let me
          see for a token
   Her pure and pitiful eyes shine out, and bathe
          her feet with tears.”
Her pitiful hands should calm, and her hair stream
          down and blind me,
   Out of the sight of night, and out of the reach of
And her eyes should be my light whilst the sun
          went out behind me,
   And the viols in her voice be the last sound in
          mine ear.
Before the ruining waters fall and my life be carried
   And Thine anger cleave me through as a child
          cuts down a flower,
I will praise Thee, Lord, in Hell, while my limbs
          are racked asunder,
   For the last sad sight of her face and the little
          grace of an hour.

Webpage © 2002 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created November 12, 2002; not revised.