Fast becoming my Easter tradition…

Or not so fast. But this poem is one I have returned to year after year, the only thing that rings true to me on this holiday. I just spent an hour and a half  online trying to find it in a book I no longer have in my immediate possession (it’s with many others back home in the United States). Worth the digging.

It’s by Edna St. Vincent Milley, from “Tree Ceremonies (Vassar College, 1913).”

Song of the Nations

Out of
Night and alarm,
Out of
Darkness and dread,
Out of old hate,
Grudge and distrust,
Sin and remorse,

Passion and blindness;
Shall come
Dawn and the birds,
Shall come
Slacking of greed,
Snapping of fear–
Love shall fold warm like a cloak
Round the shuddering earth
Till the sound of its woe cease.

Terrible dreams,
Crying in sleep,
Grief beyond thought,
Twisting of hands,
Tears shut from lids
Wetting the pillow;
Shall come
Sun on the wall,
Shall come
Sounds from the street,
Children at play–
Bubbles too big blown, and dreams
Filled too heavy with horror
Will burst and in mist fall.

Sing then,
You who were dumb,
Shout then
Into the dark;
Are we not one?
Are not our hearts
Hot from one fire,
and in one mold cast?
Out of
Night and alarm,
Out of
Terrible dreams,
Reach me your hand,
This is the meaning of all that we
Suffered in sleep, –the white peace
Of the waking.

-from Collected Poems, Edna St. Vincent Millay,