A Reflection on “Love’s Lantern”

“Love’s Lantern”
(For Aline)
Because the road was steep and long
    And through a dark and lonely land,
God set upon my lips a song
    And put a lantern in my hand.
Through miles on weary miles of night
    That stretch relentless in my way
My lantern burns serene and white,
    An unexhausted cup of day.
O golden lights and lights like wine,
    How dim your boasted splendors are.
Behold this little lamp of mind:
    It is more starlike than a star!

Twentieth-century poet and WWI soldier Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) originally published “Love’s Lantern” in Trees and Other Poems in 1914. The first stanza of the poem lives in two places in the Canyon: on the wall beside the dining room fireplace of Linnet’s Wings and in the Cody Center, home of Laity Lodge’s art galleries, studios, and performance space.

Its placements by a fireplace and in an art gallery makes perfect sense. We may find love’s hopeful lantern in the warm light of hearth and home, where we gather for meals. We may find inspiration during tough times through the beauty and insight of art. Maybe even in a simple song—a chorus in the Great Hall or a comforting and familiar tune during Roundup.

Whatever the divinely-given light that God gives us is, it brings peace and foresight that will guide us through the dark, near-endless places until we find home.

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