Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
Peccavi, Domine
By Archibald Lampman (1861–1899)
O POWER to whom this earthly clime
  Is but an atom in the whole,
O Poet-heart of Space and Time,
  O Maker and immortal Soul,
Within whose glowing rings are bound,        5
  Out of whose sleepless heart had birth
The cloudy blue, the starry round,
  And this small miracle of earth:
Who liv’st in every living thing,
  And all things are thy script and chart,        10
Who rid’st upon the eagle’s wing,
  And yearnest in the human heart;
O Riddle with a single clue,
  Love, deathless, protean, secure,
The ever old, the ever new,        15
  O Energy, serene and pure.
Thou, who art also part of me,
  Whose glory I have sometime seen,
O Vision of the Ought-to-be,
  O Memory of the Might-have-been,        20
I have had glimpses of thy way,
  And moved with winds and walked with stars,
But weary, I have fallen astray,
  And, wounded, who shall count my scars?
O Master, all my strength is gone;        25
  Unto the very earth I bow;
I have no light to lead me on;
  With aching heart and burning brow,
I lie as one that travaileth
  In sorrow more than he can bear;        30
I sit in darkness as of death,
  And scatter dust upon my hair.
The God within my soul hath slept,
  And I have shamed the nobler rule;
O Master, I have whined and crept;        35
  O Spirit, I have played the fool.
Like him of old upon whose head
  His follies hung in dark arrears,
I groan and travail in my bed,
  And water it with bitter tears.        40
I stand upon thy mountain-heads,
  And gaze until mine eyes are dim;
The golden morning glows and spreads;
  The hoary vapors break and swim.
I see thy blossoming fields, divine,        45
  Thy shining clouds, thy blessèd trees—
And then that broken soul of mine—
  How much less beautiful than these!
O Spirit, passionless, but kind,
  Is there in all the world, I cry,        50
Another one so base and blind,
  Another one so weak as I?
O Power, unchangeable, but just,
  Impute this one good thing to me,
I sink my spirit to the dust        55
  In utter dumb humility.

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