The Mystic's Vision
Ah! I shall kill myself with dreams!
These dreams that softly lap me round
Through trance-like hours in which meseems
That I am swallowed up and drowned;
Drowned in your love, which flows o'er me
As o'er the seaweed flows the sea.
In watches of the middle night,
'Twixt vesper and 'twist matin bell,
With rigid arms and straining sight,
I wait within my narrow cell;
With muttered prayers, suspended will,
I wait your advent--statue-still.
Across the convent garden walls
The wind blows from the silver seas;
Black shadow of the cypress falls
Between the moon-meshed olive-trees;
Sleep-walking from their golden bowers,
Flit disembodied orange flowers.
And in God's consecrated house,
All motionless from head to feet,
My heart awaits her heavenly Spouse,
As white I lie on my white sheet;
With body lulled and soul awake,
I watch in anguish for your sake.
And suddenly, across the gloom,
The naked moonlight sharply swings;
A Presence stirs within the room,
A breath of flowers and hovering wings:--
Your presence without form and void,
Beyond all earthly joys enjoyed.
My heart is hushed, my tongue is mute,
My life is centred in your will;
You play upon me like a lute
Which answers to its master's skill,
Till passionately vibrating,
Each nerve becomes a throbbing string.
Oh, incommunicably sweet!
No longer aching and apart,
As rain upon the tender wheat,
You pour upon my thirsty heart;
As scent is bound up in the rose,
Your love within my bosom glows.
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