Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 217. La Vie Profonde
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
217. La Vie Profonde
By Edmond Gore Alexander Holmes  (1850–1906)
  
HEMMED in by petty thoughts and petty things,
  Intent on toys and trifles all my years,
Pleased by life’s gauds, pained by its pricks and stings,
  Swayed by ignoble hopes, ignoble fears;
Threading life’s tangled maze without life’s clue,        5
  Busy with means, yet heedless of their ends,
Lost to all sense of what is real and true,
  Blind to the goal to which all Nature tends:—
Such is my surface self: but deep beneath,
  A mighty actor on a world-wide stage,       10
Crowned with all knowledge, lord of life and death,
  Sure of my aim, sure of my heritage,—
I—the true self—live on, in self’s despite,
That ‘life profound’ whose darkness is God’s light.

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