Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 235. Antiphon to the Holy Spirit
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
235. Antiphon to the Holy Spirit
By Agnes Mary Frances Duclaux (Robinson-Darmesteter)  (b. 1857)
Men and Women sing.

O THOU that movest all, O Power
    That bringest life where’er Thou art,
O Breath of God in star and flower,
  Mysterious aim of soul and heart;
Within the thought that cannot grasp Thee        5
  In its unfathomable hold,
We worship Thee who may not clasp Thee,
  O God, unreckoned and untold!

O Source and Sea of Love, O Spirit
  That makest every soul akin,       10
O Comforter whom we inherit,
  We turn and worship Thee within!
To give beyond all dreams of giving,
  To lose ourselves as Thou in us,
We long; for Thou, O Fount of living,       15
  Art lost in Thy creation thus!

The mass of unborn matter knew Thee,
  And lo! the splendid silent sun
Sprang out to be a witness to Thee
  Who art the All, who art the One;       20
The airy plants unseen that flourish
  Their floating strands of filmy rose,
Too small for sight, are Thine to nourish;
  For Thou art all that breathes and grows.

Thou art the ripening of the fallows,
  The swelling of the buds in rain;
Thou art the joy of birth that hallows
  The rending of the flesh in twain;
O Life, O Love, how undivided
  Thou broodest o’er this world of Thine,       30
Obscure and strange, yet surely guided
  To reach a distant end divine!

We know Thee in the doubt and terror
  That reels before the world we see;
We know Thee in the faiths of error;       35
  We know Thee most who most are free.
This phantom of the world around Thee
  Is vast, divine, but not the whole:
We worship Thee, and we have found Thee
  In all that satisfies the soul!       40
Men and Women.

How shall we serve, how shall we own Thee,
  O breath of Love and Life and Thought?
How shall we praise, who are not shown Thee?
  How shall we serve, who are as nought?
Yet, though Thy worlds maintain unbroken       45
  The silence of their awful round,
A voice within our souls hath spoken,
  And we who seek have more than found.



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