A Figurative Description of the Procedure of Divine Love

In Bringing a Soul to the Point of Self-Renunciation and
Absolute Acquiescence

'T WAS my purpose, on a day,
To embark and sail away;
As I climb'd the vessel's side,
Love was sporting in the tide;
" Come, " he said — " ascend — make haste,
Launch into the boundless waste. "

Many mariners were there,
Having each his sep'rate care;
They that row'd us, held their eyes
Fixt upon the starry skies;
Others steer'd, or turn'd the sails
To receive the shifting gales.

Love, with pow'r divine supplied,
Suddenly my courage tried;
In a moment it was night,
Ship, and skies, were out of sight;
On the briny wave I lay,
Floating rushes all my stay.

Did I with resentment burn
At this unexpected turn?
Did I wish myself on shore,
Never to forsake it more?
No — " my soul, " I cried, " be still;
If I must be lost, I will. "

Next, he hasten'd to convey
Both my frail supports away;
Seiz'd my rushes; bade the waves
Yawn into a thousand graves:
Down I went, and sunk as lead,
Ocean closing o'er my head.

Still, however, life was safe;
And I saw him turn and laugh:
" Friend, " he cried, " adieu! lie low,
While the wintry storms shall blow;
When the spring has calm'd the main,
You shall rise and float again. "

Soon I saw him, with dismay,
Spread his plumes, and soar away;
Now I mark his rapid flight,
Now he leaves my aching sight;
He is gone whom I adore,
'Tis in vain to seek him more.

How I trembled then, and fear'd,
When my Love had disappear'd!
" Wilt thou leave me thus, " I cried,
" Whelm'd beneath the rolling tide? "
Vain attempt to reach his ear!
Love was gone, and would not hear.

Ah! return, and love me still;
See me subject to thy will;
Frown with wrath, or smile with grace,
Only let me see thy face!
Evil I have none to fear,
All is good, if thou art near.

Yet he leaves me — cruel fate!
Leaves me in my lost estate —
Have I sinn'd? Oh say wherein;
Tell me, and forgive my sin!
King, and Lord, whom I adore,
Shall I see thy face no more?

Be not angry; I resign,
Henceforth, all my Will to thine;
I consent that thou depart,
Though thine absence breaks my heart;
Go then, and for ever too;
All is right that thou wilt do.

This was just what Love intended,
He was now no more offended;
Soon as I became a child,
Love return'd to me and smil'd:
Never strife shall more betide
'Twixt the Bridegroom and his Bride.
Author of original: 
Jeanne Marie Bouvier de la Motte Guyon
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