St. Jerome  by Albrecht Durer

In the Waning Afternoon of Life








For St. Jerome






 In the waning afternoon, 



When day its discourse ends, 



And evening steals upon the earth, 



Jerome, who cannot sleep,






Sits and reads, yet his mind






Wanders from the verse, 



And he slowly bows his head 



Before the vision of all









He does not know,






And Jesus, whom he does not






Yet love enough at all, worshipping






Him, the Holy Incomprehensible, 






Whose gentle breeze sets his old bones 



Trembling, new again in longing



To grasp the One Who grasped him,






Longing now in age to pass on 






To Heaven, to leave the tortured earth, 



And all the miseries and wiles 



Of Satan, to leave behind his mediocrity, 



To be purified and taken to Christ's Heart,






Still the afternoon declines, and takes 



Its leave, as early evening brings on 



The dusk which has no shadows, 



And Jerome turns to gaze through the panes,






 And feels the unbearable anguish






Of the going of the light, 



And the unbearable rest 



Where Jesus draws him to His bosom,






So the old man weeps hard tears, 



Tears which dredge gorges 



In his soul, tears of sorrow 



And of love, and long desire,










July 20, 2002


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