Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Divine Ladder (Trad.)

Unto each mortal who comes to earth
A ladder is given by God at birth
And up this ladder every soul must go,
Step by step from the Valley below;
Step by step to the Center of space,
On this ladder of lives, to the Starting place.

In time departed (which yet endures)
I shape my ladder, and you shape yours,
Whatever they are—they are what we made
A ladder of light, or a ladder of shade,
A ladder of love, or a hateful thing,
A ladder of strength, or a wavering string.

A ladder of gold, or a ladder of straw,
Each is a ladder of righteous Law.
We flung them away at the Call of Death,
We took them again with the next life breath.
For a Keeper stands at the great birth gates;
As each soul passes, its ladder waits.

Tho mine be narrow, and yours be broad,
On my ladder alone can I climb to God.
For none may borrow and none may lend.
If toil and trouble and pain are found,
Twisted and corded to form each round,
If rusting iron our mouldering wood

Is the fragile frame, you must make it good;
You must build it over and fashion it strong,
Tho the task be as hard as your life is long;
For up this ladder the pathway leads
To earthly pleasures and spirit needs;
And all that may come in another way
Shall be but illusion and will not stay

In useless effort, then waste not time;
Rebuild your ladder, and Climb and Climb.


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