City, when we see you coming down,
Coming down from God
To be the new world’s crown:
How shall they sing, the fresh, unsalted seas
Hearing your harmonies!
For there is no more death,
No need to cure those waters, now, with any brine;
Their shores give them no dead,
Rivers no blood, no rot to stain them.
Because the cruel algebra of war
Is now no more.
And the steel circle of time, inexorable,
Bites like a padlock shut, forever,
In the smoke of the last bomb:
And in that trap the murderers and sorcerers and crooked leaders
Go rolling home to hell.
And history is done.
Shine with your lamb-light, shine upon the world:
You are the new creations sun.
And standing on their twelve foundations,
Lo, the twelve gates that are One Christ are wide as canticles:
And Oh! Begin to hear the thunder of the songs within the crystal Towers,
While all the saints rise from their earth with feet like like
And fly to tread the quick-gold of those streets,
Oh, City, when we see you sailing down,
Sailing down from God,
Dressed in the glory of the Trinity, and angel-crowned
In nine white diadems of liturgy.
~by Fr. Thomas Mertin in Selected Poems