On! all ye fair and radiant things,
That born of earth to earth decay,
Frail children of the vanished springs,
On you we sprinkle dust today!
Colour and scent and form allied
In garden gay and woodland bough,
The maiden’s blush, the athlete’s pride,
Ashes and dust your portion now!
What were ye but God’s vesture bright
A moment worn and cast away?
Your only loveliness the light
His Spirit caused to dance and play.
And we? We saw, but saw not Him:
We heard, but not the tireless note
Of His exulting seraphim
Above earth’s scrannel music float.
Now on deaf ears, and hearts of sin,
The pride of life, and the eye’s lust
To see, but not to see within,
Today - today we sprinkle dust.
Ash Wednesday by W.J. Ferrar
Fr Lee Kenyon