For long I’ve sought the mountain men, who live beyond the earth,
Who walk on clouds and laugh out loud and know things for their worth,
Who from their lofty peaks can scan
The vast and earthbound human lands
And understand th’affliction that beleaguers us from birth.
Now ever since I’ve understood my plight I’ve sought for them;
But those below declare they know there are no mountain men:
“We’ve scaled the peaks,” they’ll flatly spit,
“And found them void, and desolate;
Be certain it is useless to explore them all again.”
But idle talk like this has never yet disturbed my seeing,
For this I see although I be a sublunary being:
The dwellings of the mountain clans
Extend beyond the ken of man
Who yet are banned from entering, except perhaps in dreaming.
But mountain lords are not so banned from visiting us here,
And so I hope upon the slopes to meet one drawing near,
And hail him boldly as a friend
In hopes that he might condescend
To pause and render aid to one afflicted and in fear.
For long you’ve sought the mountain men, and we are pleased you search,
And so we come to free you from your bondage to the earth.
We’ll show you how to climb the stair
That leads to fresh supernal air
And you will share our company, and join us in our mirth.
The way ahead’s been opened—you only thought it barred—
Yet up so high that though you try you find it much too hard.
For you, afflicted by the worm,
Know well that you are too infirm;
But wait a term, and we will work to heal what has been marred.
Our healer has begun his work, but still your form is weak;
You must be strong to take the long way up the distant peaks.
It will take time to quite rebuild
The atrophy of heart and will
That keeps you still beneath the distant mountain lands you seek.
But soon you’ll know the mountain lands aren’t quite what you had thought:
The lands we love are far above the fancy you have sought.
But would you want the pleasures there?
And could you breathe the mountain air?
And could you share the blessedness that is our people’s lot?
Indeed, the food we serve up there you cannot quite digest;
You might well think our food and drink is far beneath the best.
And so you’ll wait below a time,
And we will bring you bread and wine
And realign your appetite to what is truly blest.
For long I’ve studied mountain men, desiring their help,
And hoping they would know the way to fix my failing health.
And now they teach me to become
More fit to taste the place they’re from,
But He has come, and now I am a mountain man myself.