Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 129. Life of Life
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
129. Life of Life
By Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore  (1823–1896)
WHAT’S that, which, ere I spake, was gone!
  So joyful and intense a spark
That, whilst o’erhead the wonder shone,
  The day, before but dull, grew dark?
I do not know; but this I know,        5
  That, had the splendour lived a year,
The truth that I some heavenly show
  Did see, could not be now more clear.
This know I too: might mortal breath
  Express the passion then inspired,       10
Evil would die a natural death,
  And nothing transient be desired;
And error from the soul would pass,
  And leave the senses pure and strong
As sunbeams. But the best, alas,       15
  Has neither memory nor tongue!


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