Hymn to Spiritual Desire
I. Mother of visions, with lineaments dulcet as numbers Breathed on the eyelids of Love by music that slumbers, Secretly, sweetly, O presence of fire and snow, Thou comest mysterious, In beauty imperious, Clad on with dreams and the light of no world that we know: Deep to my innermost soul am I shaken, Helplessly shaken and tossed, And of they tyrannous yearnings so utterly taken, My lips, unsatisfied, thirst; Mine eyes are accurst With longings for visions that far in the night are forsaken; And mine ears, in listening lost, Yearn, waiting the note of a chord that will never awaken. II. Like palpable music thou comest, like moonlight; and far, Resonant bar upon bar, The vibrating lyre Of the spirit responds with melodious fire, As thy fluttering fingers now grasp it and ardently shake, With laughter and ache, The chords of existence, the instrument star-sprung, Whose frame is of clay, so wonderfully molded of mire. III. Vested with vanquishment, come, O Desire, Desire! Breathe in this harp of my soul the audible angel of Love! Make of my heart an Israfel burning above, A lute for the music of God, that lips, which are mortal, but stammer! Smite every rapturous wire With golden delirium, rebellion and silvery clamor, Crying"Awake! awake! Too long hast thou slumbered! too far from the regions of glamour With its mountains of magic, its fountains of faery, the spar-sprung, Hast thou wandered away, O Heart! Come, oh, come and partake Of necromance banquets of Beauty; and slake Thy thirst in the waters of Art, That are drawn from the streams Of love and of dreams. IV. "Come, oh, come! No longer shall language be dumb! Thy vision shall grasp As one doth the glittering hasp Of a sword made splendid with gems and with gold The wonder and richness of life, not anguish and hate of it merely. And out of the stark Eternity, awful and dark, Immensity silent and cold, Universe-shaking as trumpets, or cymbaling metals, Imperious; yet pensive and pearly And soft as the rosy unfolding of petals, Or crumbling aroma of blossoms that wither too early, The majestic music of God, where He plays On the organ, eternal and vast, of eons and days."
Madison Julius Cawein’s other poems:
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