Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 113. Implicit Faith
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
113. Implicit Faith
By Aubrey Thomas De Vere  (1814–1902)
  
OF all great Nature’s tones that sweep
  Earth’s resonant bosom, far or near,
Low-breathed or loudest, shrill or deep,
  How few are grasped by mortal ear.
 
Ten octaves close our scale of sound:        5
  Its myriad grades, distinct or twined,
Transcend our hearing’s petty bound,
  To us as colours to the blind.
 
In Sound’s unmeasured empire thus
  The heights, the depths alike we miss;       10
Ah, but in measured sound to us
  A compensating spell there is!
 
In holy music’s golden speech
  Remotest notes to notes respond:
Each octave is a world; yet each       15
  Vibrates to worlds its own beyond.
 
Our narrow pale the vast resumes;
  Our sea-shell whispers of the sea:
Echoes are ours of angel-plumes
  That winnow far infinity!       20
 
—Clasp thou of Truth the central core!
  Hold fast that centre’s central sense!
An atom there shall fill thee more
  Than realms on Truth’s circumference.
 
That cradled Saviour, mute and small,       25
  Was God—is God while worlds endure!
Who holds Truth truly holds it all
  In essence, or in miniature.
Know what thou know’st! He knoweth much
  Who knows not many things: and he       30
Knows most whose knowledge hath a touch
  Of God’s divine simplicity.

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