Wendell Berry

“What if, in the high, restful sanctuary That keeps the memory of Paradise, We’re followed by the drone of history And greed’s poisonous fumes still burn our eyes?

Disharmony calls us to our work. From Heavenly work of light and wind and leaf We must turn back into the peopled dark Of our unraveling century, the grief

Of waste, the agony of the haste and noise, It is a hard return from Sabbath rest To lifework of the fields, yet we rejoice, Returning, less condemned in being blessed

By vision of what human work can make: A harmony between wood-land and field, The world as it was given for love’s sake, The world by love and loving work revealed

As given to our children and our Maker. In that healed harmony the world is used But not destroyed, the Giver and the taker Joined, the taker blessed, in the unabused

Gift that nurtures and protects. Then workday And Sabbath live together in one place. Though mortal, incomplete, that harmony Is our one possibility of peace.

When field and woods agree, they make a rhyme That stirs in distant memory the whole First Sabbath’s song that no largess of time Or hope or sorrow wholly can recall.

But harmony of earth is Heaven-made, Heaven-making, is promise and is prayer, A little song to keep us unafraid, An earthly music magnified in air.”

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