Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 254. Peccavi, Domine
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
254. Peccavi, Domine
By Archibald Lampman  (1861–1899)
  
O POWER to whom this earthly clime
  Is but an atom in the whole,
O Poet-heart of Space and Time,
  O Maker and immortal Soul,
Within whose glowing rings are bound,        5
  Out of whose sleepless heart had birth
The cloudy blue, the starry round,
  And this small miracle of earth:
 
Who liv’st in every living thing,
  And all things are thy script and chart,       10
Who rid’st upon the eagle’s wing,
  And yearnest in the human heart;
O Riddle with a single clue,
  Love, deathless, protean, secure,
The ever old, the ever new,       15
  O Energy, serene and pure.
 
Thou, who art also part of me,
  Whose glory I have sometime seen,
O Vision of the Ought-to-be,
  O Memory of the Might-have-been,       20
I have had glimpses of thy way,
  And moved with winds and walked with stars,
But, weary, I have fallen astray,
  And, wounded, who shall count my scars?
 
O Master, all my strength is gone;       25
  Unto the very earth I bow;
I have no light to lead me on;
  With aching heart and burning brow,
I lie as one that travaileth
  In sorrow more than he can bear;       30
I sit in darkness as of death,
  And scatter dust upon my hair.
 
The God within my soul hath slept,
  And I have shamed the nobler rule;
O Master, I have whined and crept;       35
  O Spirit, I have played the fool.
Like him of old upon whose head
  His follies hung in dark arrears,
I groan and travail in my bed,
  And water it with bitter tears.       40
 
I stand upon thy mountain-heads,
  And gaze until mine eyes are dim;
The golden morning glows and spreads;
  The hoary vapours break and swim.
I see thy blossoming fields, divine,       45
  Thy shining clouds, thy blessèd trees—
And then that broken soul of mine—
  How much less beautiful than these!
 
O Spirit, passionless, but kind,
  Is there in all the world, I cry,       50
Another one so base and blind,
  Another one so weak as I?
O Power, unchangeable, but just,
  Impute this one good thing to me,
I sink my spirit to the dust       55
  In utter dumb humility.

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