The Corner



Before the Fall

Heart-faced Tyto alba to hunt takes flight

To wind, to wing, in barest light

Through shadows draped with care across the sky

Comes with the dark her hidden cry

Wise the hands which craft the night

In which too few take meet and just delight

Stars like virtues, rich stones plainly set,

Whose beauty we oft ignore, and so can forget

Distorted, distracted, is our weakened sight

Squinted, stunted, we cannot see to praise aright

And fears consuming of ill in darkness done

Makes us moonlight, starlight, cool night shun

For we have fallen from a distant, happy height

A time when owls and stars our wonder did excite

A time exultant whose faint echoes still recall

When we walked at peace in darkness before the fall

— Sean Edward Kinsella

This poem appears in the March 5 print edition of NR.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”


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