Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 269. Prayer
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
269. Prayer
By Arthur Christopher Benson  (b. 1862)
  
MY sorrow had pierced me through; it throbbed in my heart like a thorn;
  This way and that I stared, as a bird with a broken limb
Hearing the hound’s strong feet thrust imminent through the corn,
  So to my God I turned: and I had forgotten Him.
 
Into the night I breathed a prayer like a soaring fire;—        5
  So to the windswept cliff the resonant rocket streams,—
And it struck its mark, I know; for I felt my flying desire
  Strain, like a rope drawn home, and catch in the land of dreams.
 
What was the answer? This—the horrible depth of night,
  And deeper, as ever I peer, the huge cliff’s mountainous shade,       10
While the frail boat cracks and grinds, and never a star in sight,
  And the seething waves smite fiercer;—and yet I am not afraid.

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