When It Is Given You to Find a Smile

When It Is Given You to Find a Smile

When It Is Given You to Find a Smile

in the tenuous drop of moisture by

the porous stone distilled, in the mist,

in the sun, in the bird and in the wind;

when nothing to your eyes remains inert,

or formless, or colourless, or remote,

and when you penetrate the mystery

and the life of silence, dark and death;

when to the different courses of the cosmos

your gaze extends, and your own effort is

the effort of a powerful microscope

bringing into view invisible worlds;

then in the blazing conflagration of

an infinite and superhuman love,

with the Saint of Assisi you will say

brother to tree and cloud and savage beast.

You will feel in the unnumbered throng

of things and beings the being that is yours;

you will be all terror with the abyss

and with the summit you will be all pride.

The ignoble dust will stir your love

that maculates the whiteness of the lily,

your blessing will be on the sandy beaches,

your adoration for the insect’s flight;

and you will kiss the talon of the thorn

and the dahlia’s silken draperies…

And you will piously put off your sandals

in order not to bruise the wayside stones.

Enrique González Martínez (1871-1952) [Mexican Poetry : Tanslated by Samuel Beckett]

Saint of Assisi : Saint Francis of Assisi abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. He is the patron saint of animals and the environment.( c. 1181- 1226)