Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 331. The Night Obscure of the Soul
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
331. The Night Obscure of the Soul
By Rachel Annand Taylor  (b. 1876)
WHEN the Soul travails in her Night Obscure,
  The nadir of her desperate defeat,
What heavenly dream shall help her to endure,
  What flaming Wisdom be her Paraclete?
No curious Metaphysic can withhold        5
  The heart from that mandragora she craves:—
Unreasonable, old as Earth is old,
  The blind ecstatic miracle that saves.
Far off the pagan trumpeters of Pride
  Call to the blood.—Love moans.—Some fiery fashion       10
Of rapture like the anguish of the bride
  Leaps from the dark perfection of the Passion,
Crying: ‘O beautiful God, still torture me,
For if thou slay me, I will trust in Thee.’



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