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Sonnet

‘Dieu à établi la prière pour communiquer à ses créatures la dignité de la causalité.’ *

The Bible says Sennacherib’s campaign was spoiled
By angels: in Herodotus it says, by mice –
Innumerably nibbling all one night they toiled
To eat his bowstrings piecemeal as warm wind eats ice.

But muscular archangels, I suggest, employed
Seven little jaws at labour on each slender string,
And by their aid, weak masters though they be, destroyed
The smiling-lipped Assyrian, cruel-bearded king.

No stranger that omnipotence should choose to need
Small helps than great – no stranger if His action lingers
Till men have prayed, and suffers their weak prayers indeed
To move as very muscles His delaying fingers,

Who, in His longanimity and love for our
Small dignities, enfeebles, for a time, His power.

(C.S.Lewis)

* (Pascal)

** Photo by William Volkofsky [Great Wall of China]

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