Man of the West



I am the man of the west

And I stand at the end of the world

And the light comes out of the past

And enormous shadows, hurled

Over the edge of the world


I will turn towards the past

Away from the edge of night

And see through the blinding blast

The figures, tiny and bright

Moving, against the light


Moving, tiny and stark

And their moving shadows, cast

Huge, immeasurably dark, immeasurably vast

To where I stand, and past


I am the man of the west

And I am far from home

I have lost the Promised Land

I have forgotten Rome

But I stand in the shadow of Jesus

Who turned the water to wine

And a second shadow is Caesar’s

And both of the shadows are mine

And Jesus is God made man

Who rules with a shepherd’s rod

But Caesar rules with an iron hand

For Caesar is man made God


I am the man of the west

Therefore I love the light

And seek to be the best

And hope to do the right

And when I have built a city

And the city has not sufficed

I look again to Caesar

And listen again to Christ

And if ever my light is broken

And heaven is dark above

I shall take my loss for a token

I stand in the shadow of love





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