East of the Sun and West of the Moon

East of the Sun and West of the Moon*

East of Sun, West of Moon

Long ago in a Northern land
A tale was invented and told:
A tale with a luminous title,
Key to dream-cities of gold.
The story was soon forgotten
But the title’s remembered still:
It shines like a jewel in my mind,
Able to conjure at will
A mystic land full of marvels
Where dragons and unicorns roam,
Where the lamb can lie down with the lion
And every heart is at home.

One night the moon was rising
In a soft, translucent haze;
I turned to the other horizon,
Still flushed with the sun’s last rays.
I was shaken with joy and wonder;
How strange, how strange to find
That I stood in the marvellous kingdom
Which long had possessed my mind.
And we all may know, in the moonlight
Or greeting the sun’s bright face
That we stand in the marvellous kingdom;
The kingdom of immanent grace.

Sheila Durbin

*Title of a Scandinavian folk tale

Illustration is from Kay Nielsen: East of the Sun and West of the Moon, Hollywood Animation Archive

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