Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Tue. 04/06/04 07:15:51 AM

Edmond Gore Alexander Holmes: "The God Within"

Tuesday in Holy Week

The God Within

Life of my life! soul of my inmost soul!
   Pure central point of everlasting light!
Creative splendour! Fountain-head and goal
   Of all the rays that make the darkness bright—
      And pierce the gloom of nothing more and more
   And win new realms from the abyss of night!
      O God, I veil my eyes and kneel before
      Thy shrine of love and tremble and adore.

The unfathomable past is but the dawn
   Of thee triumphant rising from the tomb;
And could we deem thy lamp of light withdrawn,
   Back in an instant into primal gloom
   All things that are, all things that time has wrought,
All that shall ever yet unseal the womb
   Of elemental Chaos, swift as thought
   Would melt away and leave a world of nought.

We gaze in wonder on the starry face
   Of midnight skies, and worship and aspire,
Yet all the kingdoms of abysmal space
   Are less than thy one point of inmost fire:
      We dare not think of time's unending way,
   Yet present, past, and future would expire,
      And all eternity would pass away
      In thy one moment of intensest day.

Of old our fathers heard thee when the roll
   Of midnight thunder crashed across the sky:
I hear thee in the silence of the soul—
   Its very stillness is the majesty
      Of thy mysterious voice, that moves me more
   Than wrath of tempest as it rushes by,
      Or booming thunder, or the surging roar
      Of seas that storm a never-trodden shore.

And they beheld thee when the lightning shone,
   And tore the leaden slumber of the storm
With vivid flame that was and then was gone,
   Whose blaze made blind, whose very breath was warm:—
      But I, if I would see thee, pray for grace
   To veil my eyes to every outward form,
      And in the darkness for a moment's space
      I see the splendour of thy cloudless face.

In thought I climb to Being's utmost brink
   And pass beyond the last imagined star,
And tremble and grow dizzy while I think—
   But thou art yet more infinitely far,
   O God, from me who breathe the air of sin,
And I am doomed to traverse worlds that are
   More fathomless to fancy ere I win
   The central altar of the soul within.

How shall I worship thee? With speechless awe
   Of guilt that shrinks when innocence is near
And veils its face: with faith, that ever saw
   Most when its eyes were clouded with a tear:
      With hope, the breath of spirits that aspire:
   Lastly, with love—the grave of every fear,
      The fount of faith, the triumph of desire,
      The burning brightness of thine own white fire....

O God that dwellest in transcendent light
   Beyond our dreams, who grope in darkness here,
Beyond imagination's utmost flight,—
   I bless thee most that sometimes when a tear
      Of tender yearning rises unrepressed,
   Lo! for an instant thou art strangely near—
      Nearer to my own heart than I who rest
      In speechless adoration on thy breast.

Edmond Gore Alexander Holmes (18501906)

The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse (1917), ed. D. H. S. Nicholson and A. H. E. Lee, pp. 387ff.

See also John Donne: Holy Sonnets XVI.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Tue. 04/06/04 07:15:51 AM
Categorized as Literary & Religious.


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