Hymn to Spiritual Desire, by Madison Cawein

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 thy 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."