Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 108. From ‘The Year of the World’
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
108. From ‘The Year of the World’
By William Bell Scott  (1812–1890)
  
GIVE reverence, O man, to mystery,
Keep your soul patient, and with closed eye hear.
Know that the Good is in all things, the whole
Being by him pervaded and upheld.
He is the will, the thwarting circumstance,        5
The two opposing forces equal both—
Birth, Death, are one. Think not the Lotus flower
Or tulip is more honoured than the grass,
The bindweed, or the thistle. He who kneels
To Cama, kneeleth unto me; the maid       10
Who sings to Ganga sings to me; I am
Wisdom unto the wise, and cunning lore
Unto the subtle. He who knows his soul,
And from thence looketh unto mine; who sees
All underneath the moon regardlessly,       15
Living on silent, as a shaded lamp
Burns with steady flame:—he sure shall find me—
He findeth wisdom, greatness, happiness.
 
Know, further, the Great One delighteth not
In him who works, and strives, and is against       20
The nature of the present. Not the less
Am I the gladness of the conqueror—
And the despair of impotence that fails.
I am the ultimate, the tendency
Of all things to their nature, which is mine.       25
Put round thee garments of rich softness, hang
Fine gold about thine ankles, hands, and ears,
Set the rich ruby and rare diamond
Upon thy brow.—I made them, I also
Made them be sought by thee; thou lack’st them not?       30
Then throw them whence they came, and leave with them
The wish to be aught else than nature forms.
 
Know that the great Good in the age called First,
Beheld a world of mortals, ’mong whom none
Enquired for Truth, because no falsehood was:       35
Nature was Truth; man held whate’er he wished:
No will was thwarted, and no deed was termed,
Good, Evil. In much wisdom is much grief.
He who increases knowledge sorrow also
Takes with it, till he rises unto me,       40
Knowing that I am in all, still the same:
Knowing that I am Peace in the contented.
I, Great, revealed unto the Seer, how man
Had wandered, and he gave a name and form
To my communings and he called it Veda.       45
To him who understands it is great gain—
Who understandeth not, to him the Sign
And ritual is authority and guide,
A living and expiring confidence.

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