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Literature

Essay by 24  •  April 27, 2011  •  724 Words (3 Pages)  •  613 Views

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The blessed damozel lean'd out

From the gold bar of Heaven;

Her eyes were deeper than the depth

Of waters still'd at even;

She had three lilies in her hand,

And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,

No wrought flowers did adorn,

But a white rose of Mary's gift,

For service meetly worn;

Her hair that lay along her back

Was yellow like ripe corn.

Her seem'd she scarce had been a day

One of God's choristers;

The wonder was not yet quite gone

From that still look of hers;

Albeit, to them she left, her day

Had counted as ten years.

(To one, it is ten years of years.

. . . Yet now, and in this place,

Surely she lean'd o'er me--her hair

Fell all about my face ....

Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves.

The whole year sets apace.)

It was the rampart of God's house

That she was standing on;

By God built over the sheer depth

The which is Space begun;

So high, that looking downward thence

She scarce could see the sun.

It lies in Heaven, across the flood

Of ether, as a bridge.

Beneath, the tides of day and night

With flame and darkness ridge

The void, as low as where this earth

Spins like a fretful midge.

Around her, lovers, newly met

'Mid deathless love's acclaims,

Spoke evermore among themselves

Their heart-remember'd names;

And the souls mounting up to God

Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bow'd herself and stoop'd

Out of the circling charm;

Until her bosom must have made

The bar she lean'd on warm,

And the lilies lay as if asleep

Along her bended arm.

From the fix'd place of Heaven she saw

Time like a pulse shake fierce

Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove

Within the gulf to pierce

Its path; and now she spoke as when

The stars sang in their spheres.

The sun was gone now; the curl'd moon

Was like a little feather

Fluttering far down the gulf; and now

She spoke through the still weather.

Her voice was like the voice the stars

Had when they sang together.

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird's song,

Strove not her accents there,

Fain to be hearken'd? When those bells

Possess'd the mid-day air,

Strove not her steps to reach my side

Down all the echoing stair?)

"I wish that he were come to me,

For he will come," she said.

"Have I not pray'd in Heaven?--on earth,

Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd?

Are not two prayers a perfect strength?

And shall I feel afraid?

"When round his head the aureole clings,

And he is cloth'd in white,

I'll take his hand and go with him

To the deep wells of light;

As unto a stream we will step down,

And bathe there in God's sight.

"We two will stand beside that shrine,

Occult, withheld, untrod,

Whose lamps are stirr'd continually

With prayer sent up to God;

And see our old prayers, granted, melt

Each like a little cloud.

"We two will lie i' the shadow of

That living mystic tree

Within

...

...

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