From ‘The Soul’s Travelling’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
God, God! With a child’s voice I cry, Weak, sad, confidingly— God, God! Thou knowest, eyelids, raised not always up Unto Thy love (as none of ours are), droop As ours, o’er many a tear! Thou knowest, though Thy universe is broad, Two little tears suffice to cover all: Thou knowest, Thou, who art so prodigal Of beauty, we are oft but stricken deer Expiring in the woods—that care for none Of those delightsome flowers they die upon.
O blissful Mouth which breathed the mournful breath We name our souls, self-spoilt!—by that strong passion Which paled Thee once with sighs,—by that strong death Which made Thee once unbreathing—from the wrack Themselves have called around them, call them back, Back to Thee in continuous aspiration! For here, O Lord, For here they travel vainly,—vainly pass From city-pavement to untrodden sward, Where the lark finds her deep nest in the grass Cold with the earth’s last dew. Yea, very vain The greatest speed of all these souls of men Unless they travel upward to the throne Where sittest THOU, the satisfying ONE, With help for sins and holy perfectings For all requirements—while the archangel, raising Unto Thy face his full ecstatic gazing, Forgets the rush and rapture of his wings.