Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 51. The Incomprehensible
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
51. The Incomprehensible
By Isaac Watts  (1674–1748)
  FAR in the Heavens my God retires:
    My God, the mark of my desires,
    And hides his lovely face;
  When he descends within my view,
  He charms my reason to pursue,        5
But leaves it tir’d and fainting in th’ unequal chase.
    Or if I reach unusual height
    Till near his presence brought,
  There floods of glory check my flight,
  Cramp the bold pinions of my wit,       10
    And all untune my thought;
  Plunged in a sea of light I roll,
  Where wisdom, justice, mercy, shines;
  Infinite rays in crossing lines
Beat thick confusion on my sight, and overwhelm my soul.…       15
    Great God! behold my reason lies
  Adoring: yet my love would rise
    On pinions not her own:
  Faith shall direct her humble flight,
  Through all the trackless seas of light,       20
To Thee, th’ Eternal Fair, the infinite Unknown.



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