Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 362. The Great Response
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
362. The Great Response
By Alice Mary Buckton
  
  LET me come nearer Thee,
    O Perfect Soul!
Down-looking on me, whereso’er I tread,
With earnest gaze from cliff, and sky o’erhead,
From clustered leaves and buds and bowers of green—        5
    Let me come nearer Thee!
 
    Seeking Thine intercourse
    I wander wide
O’er hills and valleys, under moon and stars,
Rapt in a secret tumult of delight       10
At every passing cloud, and changing light
    On stream and mountain side.
 
    I kiss thy cheek, fair rose!
    Its pearly hue
Reflects the darker passion blood of mine:       15
Thy tender breath, responding to the lips,
Is sweeter to the soul than new-mixt wine.
 
    Young veinèd leaf uncurled,
    And tendril green,
Clinging about my finger slenderly,       20
Thou seëst not: what wouldst thou have of me?
What happy sense hast thou, to know the touch
    Of the unseen?
 
    Blue dome of heaven that guards
    The living world       25
Like a green gem within a casket rare,
Fretted with brooks, and set in silver seas,
What Breast contains ye both, the moving Earth
    And the free Air?
 
    And lo! within my soul       30
    Some happy Thing
Betrayed the secret sigh of heart’s content:
And, from the hollows of the breathless hills
There came a quiet Voice: Look round on Me,
The Presence, the Desire that moves and fills,       35
    The whole—the part!
 
    I rise upon the winds:
    I draw the stars
Thro’ realms of night, on paths of trackless dawn!
Mine Eye contains the light of Day: mine Arm       40
Unfurls the cloud, and flings the grateful shade
    On hill and lawn!
 
    In glimmering regions, yet unfound,
    I penetrate
The Abyss of Being, and the Springs of Thought:       45
I order things that be: and blamelessly
Divide the heavens and earth, reproved of nought,
    Of Joy and Power, insatiate!
 
    I linger in the twilight land of grief:
    With health divine       50
Breathing on frozen hearts that know me not;
They lift their marred and chilly lips to me,
Swooning into my bosom dreamlessly,
    For Grief and Death are mine!
 
    I gather up the fleeting Souls that seem       55
    All day to die:
Their beauty, melting, passeth not away!
Woven into the golden mist of Life
They ’merge again upon the teeming Strife
    That worketh endlessly!       60
 
And Man, the fairest of my children! Thou
That battlest darkly with thy Destiny,
Whom I have made for god-like liberty,
And fain had lifted up to be with Me—
  My son and fellow-worker! know       65
 
    I only Am: unhasting, uncontrolled,
    My Perfect Will
Fulfils its perfect Self, around, above!
MY HIDDEN NAME is Joy! O mortal, yield
Unto the Breath that would thy being fill,       70
    The Breath of Love!

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