Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 286. The Continuing City
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
286. The Continuing City
By Laurence Housman  (b. 1865)
GOD, who made man out of dust,
Willed him to be
Not to known ends, but to trust
His decree.
This is our city, a soul        5
Walled within clay;
Separate hearts of one whole,
Bound we obey.
All that He meant us to be,
Could we discern,—       10
Life had no meaning,—or we
Had not to learn.
Thou, beloved, doubt not the truth
Eyesight makes dim!
All life, to age from youth,       15
Brings us to Him:
Him Whom thou hast not seen,
Canst not yet know:
Human hearts stand between,
His to foreshow.       20
Couldst thou possess thine own,
That were the key;
He, to Whom hearts are known,
Keeps it from thee.
Thou all thy days must live,       25
Thyself the quest;
Plucking the heart to give
From thine own breast.
Till thou, from other eyes,
At kindred calls,       30
Seest thine own towers arise,
And thine own walls,—
Where, conquering the wide air,
Peopling its waste,
Citadels everywhere       35
Like stars stand based:
Losing thy soul, thy soul
Again to find;
Rendering toward that goal
Thy separate mind.       40



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