Three by Madeleva V
Sonnets by Sister M. Madeleva, C.S.C.
Yes, I shall leave these patrins as I go:
Plucked grasses here, a few blown blossoms there,
To tell you, though I've gone, how much I care;
To tell you, also, should you want to know,
The way I've taken, my beloved, so
That you can find me, find me anywhere.
Be still, my heart! You know he does not dare
To follow dreams; have you no signs to show?
Only the wide, white comfort of the stars,
And strange, lone rest within the arms of dawn,
And love that binds, and truth that sets me free.
Why should you fear such infinite prison bars?
The wild and wistful way that I have gone
Leads but to peace. Beloved, follow me.
On This Condition
Oh, do I love you? Yes, to be brief and plain.
But from my window, if the day is clear,
See that far mountain, lonely and austere,
Flush into gradual wonder, where has lain
Passionless, pallid snow. Almost like pain
Rose-splendid radiance wraps it in beauty sheer
As the sun kisses itówait, wait, my dearó
And passing, leaves it virgin white again.
When we have reached those heights of calm surrender
Where white integrity and love are one,
Then you may compass me with utter splendor,
Nor shall we need to wish our joy undone;
Then you may kiss me, love, or tense or tender;
Then you may shine on me, being my sun.
Although you know, you cannot end my quest,
Nor ever, ever compass my desire;
That were to burn me with divinest fire;
That were to fill me with divinest rest,
To lift me, living, to God's living breast.
I should not dare this thing, nor you aspire
To it, who no less passionately require
Love ultimate, possessor and possessed.
You who are everything and are not this,
Be but its dream, its utter, sweet surmise
Which waking makes the more intensely true
With every exquisite, wistful part of you;
My own, the depths of your untroubled eyes,
Your quiet hands, and your most quiet kiss.
The Four Last Things: Collected Poems (1959) pp. 44f, 45, 47.
See also Three by Madeleva IV: Poems by Sister M. Madeleva, C.S.C.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Sun. 02/29/04 08:33:28 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.