Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
 
III. Faith: Hope: Love: Service
The Mystic’s Vision
Mathilde Blind (1841–1896)
 
AH! I shall kill myself with dreams!
  These dreams that softly lap me round
Through trance-like hours in which meseems
  That I am swallowed up and drowned;
Drowned in your love, which flows o’er me        5
  As o’er the seaweed flows the sea.
 
In watches of the middle night,
  ’Twixt vesper and ’twixt matin bell,
With rigid arms and straining sight,
  I wait within my narrow cell;        10
With muttered prayers, suspended will,
  I wait your advent—statue-still.
 
Across the convent garden walls
  The wind blows from the silver seas;
Black shadow of the cypress falls        15
  Between the moon-meshed olive-trees;
Sleep-walking from their golden bowers,
Flit disembodied orange flowers.
 
And in God’s consecrated house,
  All motionless from head to feet,        20
My heart awaits her heavenly Spouse,
  As white I lie on my white sheet;
With body lulled and soul awake,
I watch in anguish for your sake.
 
And suddenly, across the gloom,        25
  The naked moonlight sharply swings;
A Presence stirs within the room,
  A breath of flowers and hovering wings:—
Your presence without form and void,
Beyond all earthly joys enjoyed.        30
 
My heart is hushed, my tongue is mute,
  My life is centred in your will;
You play upon me like a lute
  Which answers to its master’s skill,
Till passionately vibrating,        35
Each nerve becomes a throbbing string.
 
Oh, incommunicably sweet!
  No longer aching and apart,
As rain upon the tender wheat,
  You pour upon my thirsty heart;        40
As scent is bound up in the rose,
Your love within my bosom glows.
 
 
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