For HMST 21 September 2000
Your seventh birthday, where? In seventh heaven?
There, Dante tells, lifting his eyes he saw
Beatrice enthroned with all the heavenly host.
Far off, she smiled at him, assuring grace,
Then turned her head to the eternal fountain.
So Browning, four years grieving, strained his gaze
into the blue that hid his lyric love
yearning that, spite the distance and the dark,
what was, again might be ‘some interchange
of grace, some splendour once thy very thought,
some benediction anciently thy smile’.
We knew no words could reach; but you had written
‘Eternity and time becoming one’.
For ever is the promise. I will trust
To share with you the same light and same dust.