Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 283. Nox Nivosa
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
283. Nox Nivosa
By Walter Leslie Wilmshurst  (b. 1866)
  
SNOWFLAKES downfloating from the void
  Upon my face,
Spilth of the silent alchemy employed
  In deeps of space
Where viewless everlasting fingers ply        5
The power whose secret is the mystery
  That doth my world encase;
 
Power that with equal ease outshakes
  Yon architrave
Of massy stars in heaven and these frail flakes       10
  Earth’s floor that pave;
Swings the flamed orbs with infinite time for dower
And strews these velvet jewels not an hour
  Of sunshine that will brave;
 
Yet of whose clustered crystals none       15
  But speaks the act
Of the hand that steers each ceaseless-wheeling sun
  And to whose tact
Fire-wreath and spangled ice alike respond;
Thoughts from the void frozen to flower and frond,       20
  Divinely all compact;
Snowflakes, of pureness unalloyed,
  That in dark space
Are built, and spilt from out the teeming void
  With prodigal grace,       25
Air-quarried temples though you fall scarce-felt
And all your delicate architecture melt
  To tears upon my face,—
I too am such encrystalled breath
  In the void planned       30
And bodied forth to surge of life and death;
  And as I stand
Beneath this sacramental spilth of snow,
Crumbling, you whisper: ‘Fear thou not to go
  Back to the viewless hand;       35
‘Thence to be moulded forth again
  Through time and space
Till thy imperishable self attain
  Such strength and grace
Through endless infinite refinement passed       40
By the eternal Alchemist that at last
  Thou see Him face to face.’

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