13. I love thee, Lord, for very greed of love--
Not of the precious streams that towards me move,
But of the indwelling, outgoing, fountain store.
Than mine, oh, many an ignorant heart loves more!
Therefore the more, with Mary at thy feet,
I must sit worshipping--that, in my core,
Thy words may fan to a flame the low primeval heat.
14. Oh my beloved, gone to heaven from me!
I would be rich in love to heap you with love;
I long to love you, sweet ones, perfectly--
Like God, who sees no spanning vault above,
No earth below, and feels no circling air--
Infinitely, no boundary anywhere.
I am a beast until I love as God doth love.
15. Ah, say not, 'tis but perfect self I want
But if it were, that self is fit to live
Whose perfectness is still itself to scant,
Which never longs to have, but still to give.
A self I must have, or not be at all:
Love, give me a self self-giving--or let me fall
To endless darkness back, and free me from life's thrall.
16. "Back," said I! Whither back? How to the dark?
From no dark came I, but the depths of light;
From the sun-heart I came, of love a spark:
What should I do but love with all my might?
To die of love severe and pure and stark,
Were scarcely loss; to lord a loveless height--
That were a living death, damnation's positive night.
17. But love is life. To die of love is then
The only pass to higher life than this.
All love is death to loving, living men;
All deaths are leaps across clefts to the abyss.
Our life is the broken current, Lord, of thine,
Flashing from morn to morn with conscious shine--
Then first by willing death self-made, then life divine.
18. I love you, my sweet children, who are gone
Into another mansion; but I know
I love you not as I shall love you yet.
I love you, sweet dead children; there are none
In the land to which ye vanished to go,
Whose hearts more truly on your hearts are set--
Yet should I die of grief to love you only so.
19. "I am but as a beast before thee, Lord."--
Great poet-king, I thank thee for the word.--
Leave not thy son half-made in beastly guise--
Less than a man, with more than human cries--
An unshaped thing in which thyself cries out!
Finish me, Father; now I am but a doubt;
Oh! make thy moaning thing for joy to leap and shout.