Dear soul be strong!

Dear soul be strong!
Mercy will come ere long
And bring his bosom fraught with blessings,
Flowers of never fading graces.
To make immortal dressings
For worthy souls, whose wise embraces
Store up themselves for Him, who is alone
The spouse of virgins and the Virgin's Son.
But if the noble Bridegroom, when He come,
Shall find the loitering heart from home;
Leaving her chaste abode
To gad abroad
Among the gay mates of the god of flies;
To take her pleasure, and to play,
And keep the devil's holiday;
To dance i' the sunshine of some smiling
But beguiling
Sphere of sweet and sugared lies;
Some slippery pair
Of false, perhaps as fair,
Flattering but forswearing eyes;
Doubtless some other heart
Will get the start
Meanwhile, and stepping in before
Will take possession of the sacred store
Of hidden sweets and holy joys;
Words which are not heard with ears
(Those tumultuous shops of noise),
Effectual whispers, whose still voice
The soul itself more feels than hears;
Amorous languishments, luminous trances;
Sights which are not seen with eyes;
Spiritual and soul-piercing glances,
Whose pure and subtle lightning flies
Home to the heart, and sets the house on fire
And melts it down in sweet desire:
Yet does not stay
To ask the windows' leave to pass that way;
Delicious deaths, soft exhalations
Of soul; dear and divine annihilations;
A thousand unknown rites
Of joys and rarefied delights;
An hundred thousand goods, glories and graces;
And many a mystic thing,
Which the divine embraces
Of the dear Spouse of spirits with them will bring;
For which it is no shame
That dull mortality must not know a name.
Of all this store
Of blessings, and ten thousand more
(If when He come
He find the heart from home)
Doubtless he will unload
Himself some otherwhere,
And pour abroad
His precious sweets
On the fair soul whom first He meets,
O fair! O fortunate! O rich! O dear!
O happy and thrice-happy she,
Dear selected dove
Whoe'er she be,
Whose early love
With wing├Ęd vows
Makes haste to meet her morning Spouse,
And close with his immortal kisses;
Happy indeed who never misses
To improve that precious hour,
And every day
Seize her sweet prey,
All fresh and fragrant as He rises,
Dropping with a balmy shower
A delicious dew of spices;
O let the blissful heart hold fast
Her heavenly armful; she shall taste
At once ten thousand paradises;
She shall have power
To rifle and deflower
The rich and roseal spring of those rare sweets,
Which with a swelling bosom there she meets:
Boundless and infinite, bottomless treasures
Of pure inebriating pleasures.
Happy proof! she shall discover
What joy, what bliss,
How many heavens at once it is
To have her God become her lover.
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