Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 237. From ‘In Excelsis’
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
237. From ‘In Excelsis’
By Sir James Rennell Rodd  (b. 1858)
  BY those heights we dare to dare,
  By the greatness of our prayer,
  Ever growing, loftier reaching
  To a royaller beseeching,
By the olden woes washed painless, white and stainless in the tears of bitter price,        5
By the strength of our assurance to endurance of the need of sacrifice,
  Not by dreaming but by using,
  Not by claiming but refusing,
Then shall dawn on eyes unsealing the revealing of a self that knows and grows,
And the stream of thy devotion find the ocean when its meaning overflows.       10
  So take the thread that seemed so frail,
  Have faith to hope and never quail,
  For all the weary woes of earth
  And all the hollowness of mirth,
  Accept but this divine in man       15
  Believe I ought to means I can,
  And comprehend the perfect plan.
    Lift thee o’er thy ‘here’ and ‘now’,
  Look beyond thine ‘I’ and ‘thou’,
  Every effort points the next,       20
  And the way grows unperplexed
  To wider ranges, larger scope,
  All things possible to hope!
Till thou feel the breath of morning shadow scorning and on spirit wings unfurled
  Win the way to realms of wonder,       25
  Rolling starward with the thunder,
Flashing earthwards with the lightning to the brightening the dark edges of the world,
  Till the vastness shall absorb thee,
  And the light of lights enorb thee,
  And the wings on which thou soarest       30
    Thou wilt need to shade thine eyes,
  For the radiance thou adorest,
    For the nearness of sunrise;
  Then thy strongest strength shall be
  In thine own humility,       35
  Wrapt into the holiest holy
    In thy worship vastly aisled,
  Bend the knee and whisper lowly
    ‘Our Father’ with the child!



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