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.
I. The Divine Element—(God, Christ, the Holy Spirit)
Love to Christ
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)

WITH all thy hart, with all thy soule and mind,
Thou must him love, and his beheasts embrace;
All other loves, with which the world doth blind
Weake fancies, and stirre up affections base,
Thou must renounce and utterly displace,        5
And give thy selfe unto him full and free,
That full and freely gave himselfe to thee.
Then shalt thou feele thy spirit so possest,
And ravisht with devouring great desire
Of his deare selfe, that shall thy feeble brest        10
Inflame with love, and set thee all on fire
With burning zeale, through every part entire,
That in no earthly thing thou shalt delight,
But in his sweet and amiable sight.
Thenceforth all worlds desire will in thee dye,        15
And all earthes glorie, on which men do gaze,
Seeme durt and drosse in thy pure-sighted eye,
Compared to that celestiall beauties blaze,
Whose glorious beames all fleshly sense doth daze
With admiration of their passing light,        20
Blinding the eyes, and lumining the spright.
Then shall thy ravisht soule inspired bee
With heavenly thoughts farre above humane skil,
And thy bright radiant eyes shall plainely see
The idee of his pure glorie present still        25
Before thy face, that all thy spirits shall fill
With sweet enragement of celestiall love,
Kindled through sight of those faire things above.

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