How shallow former shadows seem
beside this great reverse
as darkness swallows up the Light
of all the universe:
creation shivers at the shock,
the Temple rends its veil,
a pallid stillness stifles time,
and nature's motions fail.
This is no midday fantasy,
no flight of fevered brain.
With vengeance awful, grim, and real,
chaos is come again:
the hands that formed us from the soil
are nailed upon the cross;
the Word that gave us life and breath
expires in utter loss.
Yet deep within this darkness lives
a Love so fierce and free
that arcs all voids and--risk supreme!--
Its perfect testament is etched
in iron, blood, and wood;
with awe we glimpse its true import
and dare to call it good.