It came to me at war at sea,
seen from a rolling deck above.
I sat in line awaiting time
for the wind to get me borne.
It appeared not then a time of hawks,
but instead a day of doves --
'Twas the hour of worship
on a salty Sabbath morn.
On launching trek I rose the deck
and soared aloft from off the bow;
My mates and I all turned toward Guam
fast into the path of harm.
We flew 'neath a lowering layer of cloud
'midst a misty, squally shower --
Came then to light a wondrous sight
as we passed beneath the storm.
At noon-day nigh the sun was high --
shone straight down through the clouds,
With silver shafts extending there
as stained-glass colors line the sky.
While arches joined their tops it seemed,
by hap mere images of mind,
Yet, a vaulted apse did I descry.
Why exactly came then such a scene
at high communion time?
A heavenly sight of great delight
in war's tumultuous clime.
It was simply chance, will many say --
just mere coincidence,
But in my mind it's still constrained
a half-a-century since.
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