I am a lamp. I am a candle, light
To the nations—of the deaf and dumb.
And He has set me, under His bushel,
Damped, dark, deprived—but not of light.
What man would light a lamp, and set
It under a bucket, or a bushel? On
A lamp-stand, maybe, on a hill, or window
For travelers to spy across the night-veiled miles.
No man, no man. And yet He covers—
Could He be waiting for a certain hour?
Could He be holding the lamp-wick safe?
Around my little bushel-wall the winds
Howl in anger and try reaching in,
But the weave of wicker thwarts them.
The crystal flame glows on. The wick is safe.
As for me, waiting, I must rely on shadows,
Ancient interplay of good and wrong, His tale.
And the uncertain forms of wars without
Seen only through the wicker in dim shade,
They may be heroes, thieves, or even djinns,
But this vast bushel holds, and lasts.
I am a lamp, I am a candle, light
To straggling pilgrims on the darkened road.
He will know when to lift His bushel,
He will know when to move His hand.
It is His light I tend and wait for day.