Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
VI. Love’s Freemasonry
By Henry Septimus Sutton (1825–1901)
        Written, as I think,
In some secret ink;
Yet the meaning, found,
Will prove good and sound.

“AH, if to know the sign she fail,”
He said, “Woe, Woe!” and he grew pale.
The sign was made; but not a trace
Of knowing was upon her face.
As if death’s mouth, the grave, had spoke,        5
His blood its law of flowing broke,
And he felt twist in every vein,
Snake-like, a nerve of swollen pain.
There wrestled he, standing apart
To force it back unto the heart,        10
If haply to a running flood
It might dissolve, of living blood.
O life in death and death in life!
O torturing, damn’d, yet conquering strife
For yet, years afterwards, made whole,        15
He held the sceptre of his soul.
And lo! with faces all elate
With such a joy, so deep, so great,
That its most dear, most sweet, and chief
Resemblance was to glorious grief,        20
They stood in voiceless transport round,
Naught owing to articulate sound;
But a soft music forth doth press
And swells, and falls, from all their dress;
For, as their nature stands above        25
The power of tongue to tell their love,
God makes from forth their garments’ hem
Music go out and speak for them.
These looked, and loved him with their eyes
Filled with pass-words from Paradise;        30
“And evermore,” he sang, “the sign
Given, swift-answered, proves them mine!”
“Ah, Lord,” he said, “I did but seek
To bless with love a maiden meek;
A maiden given a royal, free,        35
Most god-like gift,—but not to me.
“I and my staff, wherein amassed
Was all my wealth, this Jordan passed;
’Tis Thou who mak’st me here to stand
Augmented to a twofold band.”        40

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