Journey's End

The star of love 
over Steeple Rock
is cloaked in clouds of night. 
It laughed, once, in heaven 
for the lad who grieves 
deep in the dark valley.

I know where all hope--
and my whole world--
flames with the fire of God. 
I throw off the chains 
of thought, I fling 
myself into your soul.

I sink myself, 
see into your being, 
live your very life; 
each gracious moment 
God allots you 
flares in my flaming heart.

Alone together 
we gathered flowers
high on the heath at dawn. 
I wove you wreaths, 
reverently laying 
loving gifts in your lap.

You heaped my forehead 
with fragrant rings 
of bright blue flowers, 
one, then another;
you nodded and smiled 
and swiftly snatched them away.

We laughed in the highlands 
while heaven grew clear, 
bright at the mountain brim. 
Not a single joy
seemed to exist 
apart from living our life.

The wise flower elves 
wept in the hollows, 
they knew we would need to part. 
We thought it was drops 
of dew and kissed
cold tears from the crossgrass.

I held you on horseback 
in the hurtling stream 
and felt with fond assurance 
I could lift and carry 
so light a flower 
over all the leagues of life.

Beside the bank 
of Boar River
I carefully combed your hair; 
eye stars flash, 
flower lips smile, 
cheeks turn ruby red.

He is far from your fair 
friendship, the lad
deep in the dark valley. 
The star of love 
over Steeple Rock 
is burning back of clouds.

The heavens part 
the high planets, 
blade parts back and edge; 
not even eter-
nity can part
souls that are sealed in love.

Copyright © 2002 by Dick Ringler. From Bard of Iceland: Jónas Hallgrímsson, Poet and Scientist. Reprinted by permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. All rights reserved.