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The sabbaths of Eternity,
One sabbath deep and wide A light upon the shining sea
The Bridegroom with his bride!
heart is pure.
My good blade carves the casques
My tough lance thrusteth sure,
The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splintered spear-shafts crack and fly,
The horse and rider reel :
And when the tide of combat stands, Perfume and flowers fall in showers,
That lightly rain from ladies' hands.
How sweet are looks that ladies bend
On whom their favours fall !
For them I battle till the end,
To save from shame and thrall :
But all my heart is drawn above,
My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine : I never felt the kiss of love,
Nor maiden's hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,
Me mightier transports move and thrill ; So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer
A virgin heart in work and will.
When down the stormy crescent goes,
A light before me swims,
I hear a noise of hymns :
I hear a voice, but none are there ;
The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,
The silver vessels sparkle clean, The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,
And solemn ch nts ound between.
Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres
I find a magic bark;
I float till all is dark.
A gentle sound, an awful light !
Three angels bear the holy Grail:
On sleeping wings they sail.
My spirit beats her mortal bars,
And star-like mingles with the stars.
When on my goodly charger borne
Thro’ dreaming towns I go, The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,
The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,
And, ringing, spins from brand and mail ; But o'er the dark a glory spreads,
And gilds the driving hail,
No branchy thicket shelter yields ;
Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields.
A maiden knight-to me is given
Such hope, I know not fear;
That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,
Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace,
Whose odours haunt my dreams; And, stricken by an angel's hand,
This mortal armour that I wear, This weight and size, this heart and eyes,
Are touch'd, are turn'd to finest air.