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How God draweth the Soul to Himself.

72

Eagle of the highest Heaven, gentle Lamb, Infolding Fire,

Kindle, glow in me.

Barren, thirsty, do I seek Thee,

Through the ages of desire,

One day as a thousand winters,

Waiting, Lord, for Thee.

Bitterer to the soul that loveth

Far from her Beloved to dwell,

Than the pit of doom to sinners—

An abyss there is profounder

Than the depths of hell.

The nightingale she can but sing,

For she is made of love’s delight,

Of love bereft, what else were left

Than death and night?

Then spake the spirit to the soul—

“Arise, O Queen, and sing!

Behold, He comes, the Beloved One,

Behold the Bridegroom King!”

Then spake the soul in joyful fear—

“O blessed Herald, so might it be!

For I am faithless, guilty, vile,

In Him alone is there rest for me.

For me is no home beneath the skies,

No summer land, and no resting-place,

But the marvellous pity of His eyes,

And the sweetness of His Face;

And when all around the lights are dim,

The heart that sorroweth turns to Him.”

The Herald said—

“Thou must watch and wait,

And water the earth, and strew the flowers.”

But the soul made answer—

“The desolate

Must watch in prayer, and must wait in shame,

In tears must water, and long for the day;

But if as I strew the flowers He came,

From myself and my tears I should pass away.

For He strikes the chords of the heavenly lyre,

And sorrow and sadness turn and flee,

And the earthly love, and the earth’s desire,

In that music sweet depart from me.”

73
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