The Lamb’s delight might no man doubt,
Though that wide wound His hurt displayed,
From His fair face looked lovely out
Glad glances, glorious, unafraid,
I looked upon His shining rout,
With fullest life so bright arrayed,
My little queen there moved about,
I had thought beside me in the glade.
Ah Lord! how much of mirth she made!
Among her peers she was so white!
The stream I surely needs must wade,
For longing love, in great delight.
Delight that flooded eye and ear
My mortal mind beatified;
When I saw her, I must reach my dear,
Though she beyond the brook abide.
Nothing, I thought, could keep me here,
No crippling blow hold my strength tied;
I would plunge, whatever interfere,
And swim the stream, though there I died.
But ere the water I had tried,
Even as I would my vow fulfill,
From my purpose I was turned aside;
It was not to my Prince’s will.
My wilful purpose pleased not Him,
That I with headlong zeal essayed;
Though I was rash of thought and limb,
Yet suddenly my deed was stayed.
As I sprang forward to the brim,
The action in my dreaming made
Me waken in my arbour trim.
My head upon the mound was laid
Where my pearl to the grass once strayed.
I stretched my body, frightened, chill,
And, sighing, to myself I said:
“Now all be to the Prince’s will.”
Against my will was I exiled
From that bright region, fair and fain,
From that life, glad and undefiled,
And longing dulled my sense again;
I swooned in sorrow for the child,
Needs must my heart cry and complain:
“O Pearl, dear was thy counsel mild,
In this true vision of my brain!
If very truth divide us twain;
If thou goest crowned, secure from ill,
Well for me in my prison-pain
That thou art to the Prince’s will.”
To the Prince’s will had my heart bent,
And sought but what to me was given,
Held fast to that, with true intent,
As my Pearl prayed me out of heaven;
Did I to God my thoughts present,
More in His mysteries had I thriven.
But a man will seek more than is sent,
Till from his hand his hope be riven.
Thus from my joy was I forth driven,
From the life upon that holy hill.
Oh, fools, that with the Lord have striven,
Or proffered gifts against his will!
The Prince’s will to serve aright
The Christian may full well divine;
For I have found Him, day and night,
A God, a Lord, a Friend in fine.
Upon this mound my soul hath sight,
Where I for piteous sorrow pine;
My Pearl to God I pledge and plight,
With Christ’s dear blessing and with mine,—
His, who, in form of bread and wine,
The priest doth daily show us still.
His servants may we be, or shine,
Pure pearls, according to his will.