Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 209. ‘Strange, all-absorbing Love’
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
209. ‘Strange, all-absorbing Love’
By Digby Mackworth Dolben  (1848–1867)
STRANGE, all-absorbing Love, who gatherest
Unto Thy glowing all my pleasant dew,
Then delicately my garden waterest,
Drawing the old, to pour it back anew:
In the dim glitter of the dawning hours        5
‘Not so,’ I said, ‘but still those drops of light,
Heart-shrined among the petals of my flowers,
Shall hold the memory of the starry night
‘So fresh, no need of showers shall there be.’—
Ah, senseless gardener! must it come to pass       10
That ’neath the glaring noon thou shouldest see
Thine earth become as iron, His heavens as brass?
Nay rather, O my Sun, I will be wise,
Believe in Love which may not yet be seen,
Yield Thee my earth-drops, call Thee from the skies,       15
In soft return, to keep my bedding green.
So when the bells at Vesper-tide shall sound,
And the dead ocean o’er my garden flows,
Upon the Golden Altar may be found
Some scarlet berries and a Christmas rose.       20



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