16. The house is not for me--it is for him.
His royal thoughts require many a stair,
Many a tower, many an outlook fair,
Of which I have no thought, and need no care.
Where I am most perplexed, it may be there
Thou mak'st a secret chamber, holy-dim,
Where thou wilt come to help my deepest prayer.
17. I cannot tell why this day I am ill;
But I am well because it is thy will--
Which is to make me pure and right like thee.
Not yet I need escape--'tis bearable
Because thou knowest. And when harder things
Shall rise and gather, and overshadow me,
I shall have comfort in thy strengthenings.
18. How do I live when thou art far away?--
When I am sunk, and lost, and dead in sleep,
Or in some dream with no sense in its play?
When weary-dull, or drowned in study deep?--
O Lord, I live so utterly on thee,
I live when I forget thee utterly--
Not that thou thinkest of, but thinkest me.
19. Thou far!--that word the holy truth doth blur.
Doth the great ocean from the small fish run
When it sleeps fast in its low weedy bower?
Is the sun far from any smallest flower,
That lives by his dear presence every hour?
Are they not one in oneness without stir--
The flower the flower because the sun the sun?
20. "Dear presence every hour"!--what of the night,
When crumpled daisies shut gold sadness in;
And some do hang the head for lack of light,
Sick almost unto death with absence-blight?--
Thy memory then, warm-lingering in the ground,
Mourned dewy in the air, keeps their hearts sound,
Till fresh with day their lapsed life begin.
21. All things are shadows of the shining true:
Sun, sea, and air--close, potent, hurtless fire--
Flowers from their mother's prison--dove, and dew--
Every thing holds a slender guiding clue
Back to the mighty oneness:--hearts of faith
Know thee than light, than heat, endlessly nigher,
Our life's life, carpenter of Nazareth.
22. Sometimes, perhaps, the spiritual blood runs slow,
And soft along the veins of will doth flow,
Seeking God's arteries from which it came.
Or does the etherial, creative flame
Turn back upon itself, and latent grow?--
It matters not what figure or what name,
If thou art in me, and I am not to blame.