Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 300. The Seeker
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
300. The Seeker
By James Stephens  (b. 1882)
  
I SAT me down and looked around
The little lamp-lit room, and saw
Where many pictures gloomed and frowned
In sad, still life, nor made a sound—
A many for one to draw:        5
  Shadow and sea and ground
  Held by the artist’s law,
  Beauty without a flaw,
  All with a sense profound.
 
One teeming brain was wood and hill,       10
And sloping pastures wide and green,
And cool, deep seas where rivers spill
The snows of mountains far and chill,
Sad pools where the shadows lean.
  Old trees that hang so still.       15
  Fields which the reapers glean.
  Plains where the wind is keen.
  Each with a nerve to thrill.
 
Elusive figures swayed and yearned
By lake and misty greenwood dim,       20
Seeking in sorrow: they had learned
In one night’s dream might be discerned,
A pace from the world’s rim,
  Wages their woe had earned,
  Rest from the labour grim,       25
  God and the peace of Him—
  These in a frame interned.
 
On through the forest, one step on,
One step, O Powers, let me attain
This hard, dead step, let me be gone       30
Back where I and the morning shone,
Back ere the dream shall wane
  When I and a star were one.
  Seen through the veils of pain
  Glory shall shine again:       35
  God, has the vision gone?

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