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Hermit’s Hymn

Mightiest Self! Supreme in self-contentment! Sale Spirit gyring in its own ellipse: Palpable, formless, infinite presentment Of thine own light in thine own soul’s eclipse! Let thy chaste lips Sweep through the empty aethers guarding thee (As in a fortress girded by the sea The raging winds and wings of air Lift the wild waves and bear Innavigable foam to seaward), bend these down, Touch, draw me with thy kiss Into thine own deep bliss, Into thy sleep, thy life, thy imperishable crown! Let that young godhead in thine eyes Pierce mine, fulfil me of their secrecies, Thy peace, thy purity, thy soul impenetrably wise.

All things which are complete are solitary; The circling moon, the inconscient drift of stars, The central systems. Bum they, change they, vary? Theirs is no motion beyond the eternal bars. Seasons and scars Stain not the planets, the unfathomed home, The space less, unformed faces in the dome Brighter and blacker than all things, Borne under the eternal wings No whither; Solitary are the winter woods And caves not habited, And that supreme grey head Watching the groves; single the foaming amber floods, And O! most lone The melancholy mountain shrine and throne, While far above all things God sits, the ultimate alone!

I sate upon the mossy promontory Where the cascade cleft not his mother rock, But swept in whirlwind lightning foam and glory, Vast circling with unwearying luminous shock To lure and lock Marvelous eddies in its wild caress; And there the solemn echoes caught the:: stress, The strain of that impassive tide, Shook it and flung it high and wide. Till all the air took fire from that melodious roar; All the mute mountains heard, Bowed, laughed aloud, concurred, And passed the word along, the signal of wide war, All earth took up the sound, And, being in one tune securely bound, Even as a star became the soul of silence most profound. Thus there, the centre of that death that darkened, I sat and listened, if God’s voice should break And pierce the hollow of my ear that hearkened, Lest God should speak and find me not awake, For his own sake. No voice, no song might pierce or penetrate That enviable universal slate. The Sun and ~Moon beheld, stood still. Only the spirit’s a.xis, will, Considered its own soul and sought a deadlier deep, And in the monotone mood Of supreme solitude Was neither glad nor sad because it did not sleep But with calm eyes abode Patient, its leisure the galactic load, Abode alone, nor even rejoiced to know that it was God. Alt change, all motion, and all sound arc weakness! Man cannot bear the darkness which is death, Even that calm Christ, manifest in meekness, Cried on the cross and !rd’e his ghostly breath, On the prick of death, Voice, for his passion could not bear nor dare The inter-lunar, the abundant air Darkened, and silence on the shuddering Hill, and the unbeating wing Of the legions of His Father, and so died. But I, should I be still Poised between fear and will? Should I be silent. I, and be unsatisfied? For solitude shall bend Self to all self-fullness, and have one friend, Self, and behold one God, and be, and look beyond the end. o Solitude! how many have mistaken Thy name for Sorrow’s or for Death’s or Fear’s! Only thy children lie at night and waken – How shouldst thou speak and say that no man hears? O Soul of Tears! For never hath fallen as dew thy word. Nor is thy shape showed, nor as Wisdom’s heard Thy crying about the city In the house where is no pity, But in the desolate halls and lonely vales of sand; Not in the laughter loud, Nor crying of the crowd, But in the farthest sea, the yet un travelled land. Where thou hast trodden, I have trod; Thy fold have been my folk, and thine abode Mine, and thy life my life, and thou, who art thy God, my God. .

Draw me with cords that are not; witch me chanted Spells never heard nor open to the ear, Woven of silence, moulded in the haunted Houses where dead men linger year by year, I have no fear To tread thy far irremeable way Beyond the paths and palaces of day, Beyond the night, beyond the skies, Beyond eternity’s Tremendous gale; beyond the immanent miracle. O secret self of things! I have nor feet nor wings Except to follow far beyond Heaven and Earth and Hell, Until I fix my mood And being in thee, as in my hermit’s hood I grow the thing I contemplate – that selfless solitude!

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