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The Labours  of Hercules



Andrew Nellist


With forethought, one does not abandon hope.

It is the vision which draws us on, the fire

Of striving and dedication which lets

The feet of man, which left their imprint

In mud for millennia, followed in tracks

Of king and saviour, dominatrix

And dictator, walk across water,

Work willingly to the desired end,

Upon the cross or on the scaffold, down

Common streets or in the corridors of power.

The feet of Christ have walked ahead

And will return upon a path of light

When we have stepped beside those feet

Unshod, hardly fleshed, bruised,

Brown or pale, scorched or cold.

Our feet have strolled across the seabed,

Surmounted Everest, skipped on the moon.

Think of all the moves of men through history,

What they wanted, how they schemed

Or sacrificed. God through Jesus

Led the way from cradle to mountaintop

Releasing light into the world, shining

Over all our exits and our entrances,

Our missions and meanderings

Around the busy globe. When we press

The laboured stage with humble knees

In the act of service, the soul can play its part.

In the drama of our life there are many lights

In darkness, of differing degrees, many fears

And triumphs, but can you imagine

The utter power of light that streams from Heaven,

That poured through Christ and enters

Into hearts of ranging race and religion?

In this hell or camp of famine, prison

Or penthouse of every fad and comfort,

Can we do any more to bear that power

Than join with others in that giving?




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