Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Love in the Dark"

I've been thinking for some time (spurred in part by reading the autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux some months back) about the "dark night of the soul."  How is something so devoid of hopeor of the feelings that most of us identify with hope—not itself a sin of despair, but actually an occasion of grace?  I was going to write a post on the problem, and still may some day do so; but for the moment my meditations have turned into a poem instead.

You came to me with lovely word,
Quick of wit, silver of tongue,
Surrounded me, strong arms around,
Handsome-faced, in love still young.
I was younger still, and with easy will
I returned you kiss for kiss.
Little thought I then I could fall again
From what seemed the height of bliss.

I gave consent to be your bride,
Though despised I knew I'd be
By any but the selfless Love
That you were, my Love, to me.
"You shall have my heart"—so my breast did part
To receive it from your hand;
Then so Love me dealt that I thought I'd melt
And flame like straw in brand.

I felt his blood upon my head,
Warm and piercinger than the fire:
The martyrdom I'd longed for came
Show'ring down at Love's desire.
That the sense, dismissed, minutes did persist,
I know with mem'ry clear.
Then I felt 'twas real; now I nothing feel;
Yet I swear my Love is near.

In dark I lie; nor sleep nor rest
Will come pay respects they used;
But Love by night has visited,
For I strain from being loosed.
And I heavy grow, with the labor slow
As a one who's near her time.
Had I but a light I would pierce the night
To see his face sublime.

If I had known what anguish love
Ever brings, I'd not have dared
To let him woo: I was a fool
With that Love my heart to've shared.
As with Love I lie, so with Love I die,
Both alone in agony;
Barely knowing why, from the lips, the cry:
Eloi, lama sabachthani!

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