Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 155. A Heathen Hymn
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
155. A Heathen Hymn
By Sir Lewis Morris  (1833–1907)
  
O LORD, the Giver of my days,
My heart is ready, my heart is ready;
I dare not hold my peace, nor pause,
For I am fain to sing Thy praise.
 
I praise Thee not, with impious pride,        5
For that Thy partial hand has given
Bounties of wealth or form or brain,
Good gifts to other men denied.
 
Nor weary Thee with blind request,
For fancied goods Thy hand withholds;       10
I know not what to fear or hope,
Nor aught but that Thy will is best.
 
Not whence I come, nor whither I go,
Nor wherefore I am here, I know;
Nor if my life’s tale ends on earth,       15
Or mounts to bliss, or sinks to woe.
 
Nor know I aught of Thee, O Lord;
Behind the veil Thy face is hidden:
We faint, and yet Thy face is hidden;
We cry,—Thou answerest not a word.       20
 
But this I know, O Lord, Thou art,
And by Thee I too live and am;
We stand together, face to face,
Thou the great whole, and I the part.
 
We stand together, soul to soul,       25
Alone amidst Thy waste of worlds;
Unchanged, though all creation fade,
And Thy swift suns forget to roll.
 
Wherefore, because my life is Thine,
Because, without Thee I were not;       30
Because, as doth the sea, the sun,
My nature gives back the Divine.
 
Because my being with ceaseless flow
Sets to Thee as the brook to the sea;
Turns to Thee, as the flower to the sun,       35
And seeks what it may never know.
 
Because, without me Thou hadst been
For ever, seated midst Thy suns;
Marking the soulless cycles turn,
Yet wert Thyself unknown, unseen.       40
 
I praise Thee, everlasting Lord,
In life and death, in heaven and hell:
What care I, since indeed Thou art,
And I the creature of Thy word.
 
Only if such a thing may be:       45
When all Thy infinite will is done,
Take back the soul Thy breath has given,
And let me lose myself in Thee.

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