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A. H. Clough

O only Source of all our light and life,

Whom as our truth, our strength, we see and feel,

But whom the hours of mortal moral strife

Alone aright reveal!

Mine inmost soul, before Thee inly brought,

Thy presence owns ineffable, divine;

Chastised each rebel self-encenter'd thought,

My will adoreth Thine.

With eye down-dropt, if then this earthly mind

Speechless remain, or speechless e'en depart;

Nor seek to see--for what of earthly kind

Can see Thee as Thou art?--

If well-assured 'tis but profanely bold

In thought's abstractest forms to seem to see,

It dare not dare the dread communion hold

In ways unworthy Thee:--

O not unown'd, Thou shalt unnamed forgive;

In worldly walks the prayerless heart prepare;

And if in work its life it seem to live,

Shalt make that work be prayer.

Nor times shall lack, when while the work it plies,

Unsummon'd powers the blinding film shall part,

And scarce by happy tears made dim, the eyes

In recognition start.

But, as Thou willest, give or e'en forbear

The beatific supersensual sight;--

So, with Thy blessing blest, that humbler prayer

Approach Thee morn and night.

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