ChristmastideGLORIA IN PROFUNDIS
(Chorus from an Unfinished Play)
by G.K. Chesterton
There has fallen on the earth a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is spilt on the sand.
Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed suns topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drown all—
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent
When all that is good goes down?
For in dread of such falling and failing
The Fallen Angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.
Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate—
Where the thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for a sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star that has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.