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Aquarium > English TOC > Spiritual Songs > XIV.

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Who once hath seen thee, Mother fair,
Destruction him shall never snare;
His fear is, from thee to be parted;
He loves thee evermore, true-hearted;
Thy grace remembered is the source
Whereout springs hence his spirit's highest force.

My heart is very true to thee;
My ever failing thou dost see:
Let me, sweet mother, yet essay thee –
Give me one happy sign, I pray thee.
My whole existence rests in thee:
One moment, only one, be thou with me.

I used to see thee in my dreams,
So fair, so full of tenderest beams!
The little God in thine arms lying
Took pity on his playmate crying:
But thou with high look me didst awe,
And into clouds of glory didst withdraw.

What have I done to thee, poor wretch?
To thee my longing arms I stretch!
Are not thy holy chapels ever
My resting-spots in life's endeavour?
O Queen, of saints and angels blest,
This heart and life take up into thy rest!

Thou know'st that I, beloved Queen,
All thine and only thine have been!
Have I not now, years of long measure,
In silence learned thy grace to treasure?
While to myself yet scarce confest,
Even then I drew milk from thy holy breast.

Oh, countless times thou stood'st by me!
I, merry child, looked up to thee!
His hands thy little infant gave me
In sign that one day he would save me;
Thou smiledst, full of tenderness,
And then didst kiss me: oh the heavenly bliss!

Afar stands now that gladness brief;
Long have I companied with grief;
Restless I stray outside the garden!
Have I then sinned beyond thy pardon?
Childlike thy garment's hem I pull:
Oh wake me from this dream so weariful!

If only children see thy face,
And, confident, may trust thy grace,
From age's bonds, oh, me deliver,
And make me thine own child for ever!
The love and truth of childhood's prime
Dwell in me yet from that same golden time.

(p. 51-52)



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