THE INVENTION OF GLASS
Having split it from a chiseled block of quarry stone,
The smithy took the flinty chip and tossed it into a fire
He'd laid and bellowed in a rock pit near his shop.
To his surprise, the chip caught fire, spurttered out,
Then caught again and burned the bluer part of flame.
The heat, he thought, grew hotter then, so much so
That the stone's own nature seemed to change,
Like melting wax, and overspill the flame. To the smithy
It seemed a sign from God that stone would run that way.
And he shuddered to imagine the upshot if,
Like a slain man from whom dark blood runs,
The source of that guttering stream should die.
And so, with the pike end of his blackened tongs,
He dug down into the heart of the fire, lifted
That radiant nugget out and held it aloft.
In the smoky air, where it shone for a moment,
Effulgent as a star, a star that in the heavens marks
Some long-awaited miracle to come.