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A Figurative Description of the Procedure of Divine Love

(In Bringing a Soul to the Point of Self–renunciation and Absolute Acquiescence)

'Twas my purpose, on a day,

To embark, and sail away.

As I climbed 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 separate care;

They that rowed us held their eyes

Fixed upon the starry skies;

Others steered, or turned the sails,

To receive the shifting gales.

Love, with power 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 hastened to convey

Both my frail supports away;

Seized 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 calmed 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 feared,

When my love had disappeared!

“Wilt thou leave me thus,” I cried,

“Whelmed 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 sinned? 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 returned to me and smiled:

Never strife shall more betide

'Twixt the bridegroom and his bride.

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