TO THE DIVINE SPIRIT
by: John Stuart Blackie
- PIRIT that shaped the formless chaos,
- Breath that stirred the sluggish deep,
- When the primal crude creation
- Started from its dateless sleep;
- Spirit that heaved the granite mountains
- From the central fiery wells,
- Breath that drew the rolling rivers
- From the welkin's dewy cells,
- Spirit of motion,
- Earth and ocean
- Moulding into various life,
- Within, without us,
- And round about us
- Weaving all in friendly strife:
- Come, O come, thou heavenly guest,
- Shape a new world within my breast!
- Spirit that taught the holy fathers
- Wandering through the desert drear,
- To know and feel, through myriad marchings,
- One eternal presence near.
- Breath that touched the Hebrew prophets'
- Lips with words of wingèd fire,
- Through the dubious gloom of ages,
- Kindling hope and high desire;
- Spirit revealing
- To pure feeling,
- In the inward parts of man,
- Vast foreshadowings of Thy plan;
- Come, O come, thou prophet guest,
- Watch and wait within my breast!
- Spirit that o'er Thine own Messiah
- Hovered like a brooding dove,
- When Earth's haughty lords he conquered,
- By the peaceful march of love.
- Breath that hushed loud-vaunting Caesars,
- And in triumph yoked to Thee
- Iron Rome, and savage Scythia,
- Bonded brethren and the free.
- Spirit of union,
- And communion
- Of devoted heart with heart,
- Pure and holy,
- Sure and slowly
- Working out thy boastless part:
- Come, thou calmly-conquering guest,
- Rule and reign within my breast!
- Spirit that, when free-thoughted Europe
- With the triple-crowned despot strove,
- In the gusty Saxon's spirit
- Thy soul-stirring music wove;
- Then when pride's piled architecture
- At a poor monk's truthful word
- Crashing fell, and thrones were shaken
- At the whisper of the Lord.
- Spirit deep-lurking,
- Weaver of strange circumstance,
- All whose doing
- Is rise or ruin
- Named by shallow mortals chance;
- Come, let fruitful deeds attest
- Thy plastic virtue, in my breast!
- Spirit, that sway'st the will of mortals,
- Every wish, and every hope,
- Shaping to Thy forethought purpose
- All their striving, all their scope.
- Central tide that heavest onward
- Wave and wavelet, surge and spray,
- Making wrath of man to praise Thee,
- And his pride to pave Thy way:
- Spirit that workest,
- Where thou lurkest,
- Death from life, and day from night,
- Peace from warring,
- And from jarring,
- Songs of triumph and delight;
- Come, O come, Thou heavenly guest,
- Work all Thy will within my breast!
MORE POEMS BY JOHN STUART BLACKIE
|"To the Divine Spirit" is reprinted from The Selected Poems of John Stuart Blackie. Ed. Archibald Stodart Walker. London: John Macqueen, 1896.