I thought to find him in an echoing cave;

_For so my dream had said_.

I went down into the desert

To meet John the Baptist.

I walked with feet that bled,

Seeking that prophet lean and brown and bold.

_I spied foul fiends instead_.

I went down into the desert

To meet my God.

By him be comforted.

I went down into the desert

To meet my God.

_And I met the devil in red_.

I went down into the desert

To meet my God.

O, Lord my God, awaken from the dead!

I see you there, your thorn-crown on the ground,

I see you there, half-buried in the sand.

I see you there, your white bones glistening, bare,

_The carrion-birds a-wheeling round your head_.

Love and Law

True Love is founded in rocks of Remembrance

In stones of Forbearance and mortar of Pain.

The workman lays wearily granite on granite,

And bleeds for his castle 'mid sunshine and rain.

Love is not velvet, not all of it velvet,

Not all of it banners, not gold-leaf alone.

'Tis stern as the ages and old as Religion.

With Patience its watchword, and Law for its throne.

The Perfect Marriage


I hate this yoke; for the world's sake here put it on:

Knowing 'twill weigh as much on you till life is gone.

Knowing you love your freedom dear, as I love mine--

Knowing that love unchained has been our life's great wine:

Our one great wine (yet spent too soon, and serving none;

Of the two cups free love at last the deadly one).


We grant our meetings will be tame, not honey-sweet

No longer turning to the tryst with flying feet.

We know the toil that now must come will spoil the bloom

And tenderness of passion's touch, and in its room

Will come tame habit, deadly calm, sorrow and gloom.

Oh, how the battle scars the best who enter life!

Each soldier comes out blind or lame from the black strife.

Mad or diseased or damned of soul the best may come--

It matters not how merrily now rolls the drum,

The fife shrills high, the horn sings loud, till no steps lag--

And all adore that silken flame, Desire's great flag.


We will build strong our tiny fort, strong as we can--

Holding one inner room beyond the sword of man.

Love is too wide, it seems to-day, to hide it there.

It seems to flood the fields of corn, and gild the air--

It seems to breathe from every brook, from flowers to sigh--

It seems a cataract poured down from the great sky;

It seems a tenderness so vast no bush but shows

Its haunting and transfiguring light where wonder glows.

It wraps us in a silken snare by shadowy streams,

And wildering sweet and stung with joy your white soul seems

A flame, a flame, conquering day, conquering night,

Brought from our God, a holy thing, a mad delight.

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