As The Ruin Falls

6 03 2012

I first encountered this C.S. Lewis poem on the record pictured here.  It was 1981.  I bought this album, entitled Love Broke Thru by Phil Keaggy. It remains one of my most valuable recordings.

If you know much about Phil and his wife, Bernadette, you know that the work of C.S. Lewis looms large in their pilgrimage.  It has given them light through very trying times, especially the time in which the music for this recording was created.

The third song on Side One is this work of poetry by Lewis sung by Phil to guitars and flute.

The poem is an eloquent unveiling, as it were, of the empty life of the self-absorbed and the way out of the shell.  Phil beautifully set this to music.  It is a moving poem and song.  Enjoy.

As The Ruin Falls

All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through:
I want God, you, all friends, merely to serve my turn.

Peace, re-assurance, pleasure, are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin:
I talk of love –a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek–
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin.

Only that now you have taught me (but how late) my lack.
I see the chasm. And everything you are was making
My heart into a bridge by which I might get back
From exile, and grow man. And now the bridge is breaking.

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains.

–C.S. Lewis

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4 responses

6 03 2012
evasantiago310

I absolutely love Phil Keaggy. Here’s a quote I read from him on an interview I read a while back in a guitar magazine: ” I’m a bit too worldly for the religious and a bit too religious for the worldly.” Great post 🙂

6 03 2012
evasantiago310

Reblogged this on Eva Santiago and commented:
True words sung by a brilliant musician.

8 03 2012
robstroud

Thanks for sharing. Very inspirational!

8 03 2012
Christian Fahey

You’re welcome, Rob. Thanks for stopping by!

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