Down through the tomb’s inward arch
He has shouldered out into Limboto gather them, dazed, from dreamless slumber:the merciful dead, the prophets,the innocents just His own age and thoseunnumbered others waiting hereunaware, in an endless void He is endingnow, stooping to tug at their hands,to pull them from their sarcophagi,dazzled, almost unwilling. Didmas,neighbor in death, Golgotha duststill streaked on the dried sweat of his bodyno one had washed and anointed, is here,for sequence is not known in Limbo;the promise, given from cross to crossat noon, arches beyond sunset and dawn.All these He will swiftly leadto the Paradise road: they are safe.That done, there must take place that struggleno human presumes to picture:living, dying, descending to rescue the justfrom shadow, were lesser travailsthan this: to breakthrough earth and stone of the faithless worldback to the cold sepulchre, tearstainedstifling shroud; to break from themback into breath and heartbeat, and walkthe world again, closed into days and weeks again,wounds of His anguish open, and Spiritstreaming through every cell of fleshso that if mortal sight could bearto perceive it, it would be seenHis mortal flesh was lit from within, now,and aching for home. He must return,first, in Divine patience, and knowhunger again, and giveto humble friends the joyof giving Him food – fish and a honeycomb.
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