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.
VII. Death: Immortality: Heaven
Saint Agnes
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)
DEEP on the convent-roof the snows
  Are sparkling to the moon:
My breath to heaven like vapor goes:
  May my soul follow soon!
The shadows of the convent-towers        5
  Slant down the snowy sward,
Still creeping with the creeping hours
  That lead me to my Lord:
Make Thou my spirit pure and clear
  As are the frosty skies,        10
Or this first snow-drop of the year
  That in my bosom lies.
As these white robes are soiled and dark,
  To yonder shining ground;
As this pale taper’s earthly spark,        15
  To yonder argent round;
So shows my soul before the Lamb,
  My spirit before Thee;
So in mine earthly house I am,
  To that I hope to be.        20
Break up the heavens, O Lord! and far,
  Through all yon starlight keen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glittering star,
  In raiment white and clean.
He lifts me to the golden doors;        25
  The flashes come and go;
All heaven bursts her starry floors,
  And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates
  Roll backhand far within        30
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,
  To make me pure of sin.
The sabbath of Eternity,
  One sabbath deep and wide—
A light upon the shining sea—        35
  The Bridegroom with his bride!

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