God never speaks, they say, to a drunken man;
Yet drunkenness is a way of speaking with God.
When I free myself from myself as best I can,
He does not think it odd.
He will not answer, but when he hears the voice
Of my drunken chimaera howling from its pit,
He will say: “My creature! I gave it love and choice;
My need created it.”
He will say: “My changeling, my child! Let him share awhile
The divine intoxication of the Word;
Let him see himself as he might have been and smile
On my design restored.
“I shall reconcile for an hour or so, at least,
His hunger for love both human and divine;
Dissolve his old quarrel of God and man and beast
In my trinity of wine.
“I shall rinse from his mouth the grit and dust of the day;
From his ears its rubbish of acceptable lies;
Fill him with silence; make him able to pray;
Bring back the night to his eyes.”
And the night, with its wheeling eyes, begins to spin
Faster on this weak axis which is I,
Till, torn by his centrifuge from that poor pin,
Towards his arms I fly.
There, watching my heart reel in its sacred dance
And offer its cup of mingled fire and dew,
He will drink to the dregs its draught of circumstance,
For God is a drunkard too.
Can it be otherwise? He is bound to drink
What his love creates, what his creatures always mar,
Yearning, as every artist does, to think
Them better than they are.
Sober, he labours, orders, creates and sings;
But drunk, he dances to shake the star-fast plain,
As he drinks back the superfluity of things
Into himself again.
God never speaks, they say, to a drunken man
Yet each of us proffers his draught of love to drain;
Each of us seeks in the other, as best he can,
This respite from his pain.