The windless northern surge, the sea-gull’s scream
And Calvin’s kirk crowning the barren brae….
The Word made flesh here is made word again,
A word made word in flourish and arrogant crook.
See here King Calvin with his iron pen,
And God three angry letters in a book
And there the logical hook
On which the Mystery is impaled and bent
Into an ideological instrument….
The fleshless word will bring us down,
Pagan and Christian man alike will fall,
The auguries say, the white and black and brown,
The merry and sad, theorist, lover, all
Invisibly will fall:
Abstract calamity, save for those who can
Build their cold empire on the abstract man.
Edwin Muir (1887- 1959).