This Is The Pavilion In Which I Have Been Hidden

Through a time of trouble there has been no need for that old fortress, previously known: all buttressed, bolted, with bridge drawn up from a moat encircling unscalable stone. No need for banners, boldly flown. Or trumpets -- brassily ringing out to defy, from parapets, each fresh assault by the foe below. This is a pavilion: so airily (and unstrategically) set in an open meadow, overloomed by crags, that a zephyr, you'd suppose, could blow it down or a small hail reduce it to shards. Fragile, latticed, it is seeped through by showers. Wildflowers have sown themselves within as without, and birds of all feathers come and go, as casually as if appropriating a communal nest. Bees find in it, elatedly, a reservoir of sweetness. Butterflies enter in colored clouds. And -- at dusk -- unlured, and so unconsumed, by flame there is a soft, whispering influx of moths. Gratefully they fold themselves up, and rest. Other small things too, who also must need for a little while to be hidden away. . . . Breathing, pulsing everything goes still as night slips in. There are stars; there are owls. But now -- all about -- it is this, the stillness that immensely prevails. Not emptied air. Not obliterating dark. But closer, closer than pulse or breath -- even while embracing all that abides to the furthermost conceivable reach of love -- O Presence!m that meets no impediment here. O visitants found (when received) to abound! Leaky, ephemeral -- with its wildflower frailty and its trilling of birds -- this pavilion has sheltered me through a time of trouble. Miraculously so! you would have to say. For open to pillage, from every side, how has it escaped what is known to lurk among the cruel crags? In the dark-mouthed caves? How out-lasted all the citadels that fall? Because here no marauder would find anything to despoil? No arrow a target worth its flight? Because, being defenseless, it is given to stand as a testament to angels? As allowance of light.

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