Brebeuf, Ending



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I wonder what price
For this journey
From textbook
To strange tongue
Tall pine
From abbey
And penance
To portage
And comrades
All hardy in line.
The trek to
The New World
So dazzling
The ocean skies
Beckoning on
And red faces
Stare at our larder
And implements
Toted so long.
They sense
There is help
In this process
The prayers
Ministrations so new
The children
All laugh in the stories
While parents see
Snows to get through
While parents tend
Fields of the maize corn
And cut needful pelts
From wild friends
And murmer
Of enemies looming
Will our Jesus
Ably defend?
Then quickly
The arrows
And shrieking
The night sky
So vast
Turned bright red
And we to
The last rites
Committals
To honour
Huronia’s dead.
Tomorrow
The hostiles so numerous
Will this be
The price of it all?
The totem
And torture and taunting
The worst evidence
Of Man’s Fall?
Dear Father
I rest in your presence
A strange
Interlude in this war
Afford me
The calm and the courage
To bless you
As never before. (1649)

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