–The Third Temptation of Christ, William Blake
You call us to the desert to sojourn for a while
with wild creatures, to leave the land of markers;
but your eye does not close, you know where we are.
In restive night, you are near.
In dreams disturbed by demons, you are near.
In the heart’s decisive turning, through testing, you abide.
And when it is over (until another time), the angels come from you,
oil in their flasks, food in their baskets, bandages in hand.
Then let the fast begin, this journey alone and never alone.
Let it begin, this time of refusal, this time of embrace;
this winnowing of wheat, this clearing of the eye.
And all the while, let grateful praise arise
from breadstone and pinnacle, city and treasure,
companion beasts and ministering angels—
even from tempters who play their part.
Throughout these forty days, your praise be sung,
and in the endless age to come. Amen.