Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 221. Patmos
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
221. Patmos
By Edith Matilda Thomas  (b. 1854)
  
ALL around him Patmos lies,
Who hath spirit-gifted eyes,
Who his happy sight can suit
To the great and the minute.
Doubt not but he holds in view        5
A new earth and heaven new;
Doubt not but his ear doth catch
Strain nor voice nor reed can match:
Many a silver, sphery note
Shall within his hearing float.       10
 
All around him Patmos lies,
Who unto God’s priestess flies:
Thou, O Nature, bid him see,
Through all guises worn by thee,
A divine apocalypse.       15
Manifold his fellowships:
Now the rocks their archives ope;
Voiceless creatures tell their hope
In a language symbol-wrought;
Groves to him sigh out their thought;       20
Musings of the flower and grass
Through his quiet spirit pass.
’Twixt new earth and heaven new
He hath traced and holds the clue,
Number his delights ye may not;       25
Fleets the year but these decay not.
Now the freshets of the rain,
Bounding on from hill to plain,
Show him earthly streams have rise
In the bosom of the skies.       30
Now he feels the morning thrill,
As upmounts, unseen and still,
Dew the wing of evening drops.
Now the frost, that meets and stops
Summer’s feet in tender sward,       35
Greets him, breathing heavenward.
Hieroglyphics writes the snow,
Through the silence falling slow;
Types of star and petaled bloom
A white missal-page illume.       40
By these floating symbols fine,
Heaven-truth shall be divine.
 
All around him Patmos lies,
Who hath spirit-gifted eyes;
He need not afar remove,       45
He need not the times reprove,
Who would hold perpetual lease
Of an isle in seas of peace.

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