Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
VI. Human Experience
“I saw Thee”
Ray Palmer (1808–1887)
“When thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.”—JOHN i. 48.

I SAW thee when, as twilight fell,
  And evening lit her fairest star,
Thy footsteps sought yon quiet dell,
  The world’s confusion left afar.
I saw thee when thou stood’st alone,        5
  Where drooping branches thick o’erhung,
Thy still retreat to all unknown,
  Hid in deep shadows darkly flung.
I saw thee when, as died each sound
  Of bleating flock or woodland bird,        10
Kneeling, as if on holy ground,
  Thy voice the listening silence heard.
I saw thy calm, uplifted eyes,
  And marked the heaving of thy breast,
When rose to heaven thy heartfelt sighs        15
  For purer life, for perfect rest.
I saw the light that o’er thy face
  Stole with a soft, suffusing glow,
As if, within, celestial grace
  Breathed the same bliss that angels know.        20
I saw—what thou didst not—above
  Thy lowly head an open heaven;
And tokens of thy Father’s love
  With smiles to thy rapt spirit given.
I saw thee from that sacred spot        25
  With firm and peaceful soul depart;
I, Jesus, saw thee,—doubt it not,—
  And read the secrets of thy heart!

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