And the angel had the face of a beautiful girl

 

She was born of herself and as clear as the air,

Or she was nothing, nothing until she was found;

She was found by the consolation of prayer.

She was offered all the good things of the Earth,

That she might be exalted, but also bound,

And she chose human form, adding to its worth

With coral and Latin and the sun’s purest beams,

The music of the stars, the attar of the rose:

And she came to reside in the depths of our dreams.

Then dream by dream she was brought to perfection

So for her the heavens might open and close,

For revelation, hope, and protection;

To minister if not to intercede,

To avenge if not to minister;

If not to avenge, to record every deed.

And she appeared with all she came to acquire

When we awoke but didn’t wake from her,

And saw to our wonder, our fear and desire

That now, all pinned together, how only she was whole,

And Earth was for her feet to rest upon,

For we made her as one image of our soul,

From rainbows and ocelli, silk and mother-of-pearl.

We heard the beating of wings—wings of a swan,

And the angel had the face of a beautiful girl.