English poetry

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From ‘Pauline’

From ‘Pauline’

O God, where does this tend-these struggling aims?
What would I have? What is this ‘sleep’, which seems
To bound all? can there be a ‘waking’ point
Of crowning life? The soul would never rule –
It would be first in all things-it would have
Its utmost pleasure filled,-but that complete
Commanding for commanding sickens it.
The last point I can trace is, rest beneath
Some better essence than itself-in weakness;
This is ‘myself’-not what I think should be
And what is that I hunger for but God?
My God, my God! let me for once look on thee
As tho’ nought else existed: we alone.
And as creation crumbles, my soul’s spark
Expands till I can say, ‘Even from myself
I need thee, and I feel thee, and I love thee;
I do not plead my rapture in thy works
For love of thee-or that I feel as one
Who cannot die-but there is that in me
Which turns to thee, which loves, or which should love.’

Why have I girt myself with this hell-dress?
Why have I laboured to put out my life?
Is it not in my nature to adore,
And e’en for all my reason do I not
Feel him, and thank him, and pray to him-now?
Can I forgo the trust that he loves me?
Do I not feel a love which only ONE…
O thou pale form, so dimly seen, deep-eyed,
I have denied thee calmly-do I not
Pant when I read of thy consummate deeds,
And burn to see thy calm pure truths out-flash
The brightest gleams of earth’s philosophy?
Do I not shake to hear aught question thee?
If I am erring save me, madden me,
Take from me powers and pleasures-let me die.
Ages, so I see thee: I am knit round
As with a charm, by sin and lust and pride,
Yet tho’ my wandering dreams have seen all shapes
Of strange delight, oft have I stood by thee –
Have I been keeping lonely watch with thee
In the damp night by weeping Olivet,
Or leaning on thy bosom, proudly less –
Or dying with thee on the lonely cross –
Or witnessing thy bursting from the tomb!



Poem From ‘Pauline’ - Robert Browning