wordsout by Godfrey Rust                                       The sailing of the ark  31 of 45  HOME    



31

The ark sailed backwards through the centuries
beyond the reach of modem scholarship: Einstein 

discovered nothing to which it was related, Galileo
failed to trace its course in the stars, da Vinci 

could only speculate on its design, Columbus
was the boldest, with the least successful result— 

and when it was found at last,
by the shepherds acting on a tip-off, 

it was much smaller than we had imagined, just
a wooden box, with a few beasts attending, 

hardly adequate, you'd think, for the deliverance
of all humanity from the flood of judgement, 

its single occupant asleep, and over all the covenant sign,
not a rainbow but Golgotha, the soul's true Ararat.


Having sailed out of history in sonnet 13, the ark is now re-discovered in its most potent mythical form as the manger at Bethlehem.

covenant sign...rainbow cf Genesis 9:12-17.

Golgotha The “place of the skull” where Jesus was crucified.

Ararat The resting place of the ark cf Genesis 8:4.