Did they leap and wave and dance together
before that rushing mighty wind;
above those wild astonished heads,
like one enormous fourth of July bonfire?
Or were they solemn,
hovering in mid-air austere,
remote as chancel candles,
radiating still-as-crystal holiness?
Those glad tidings, as they gave them voice,
did they wear the sober garb of reason, developing
point-on-point the history, background, rationale,
all the reasonable explanations, implications
of what had come to pass?
Or was it more like one great shout of joy,
the agony-born bliss of bursting from the womb,
a life-embracing cry that even visitors
from the remotest island archipelago
beneath the fiery Southern Cross
might recognize and claim
and then be claimed by?
—J. Barrie Shepherd