I. Fire Sermon
Of earth, which slides toward hell
Beneath the wisdom tree,
we see the final victory;
alas, the world is gone
if we move on!
Without the piety of dawn,
alas the world is gone!
Proclaim it and convey it
in its pure and spotless form;
all who go forth to meet it
are rescued from the storm:
All is burning, burning,
everything is burning,
all things in fire turning
as ember in the flame.
The eye is burning, burning,
its vision consumed the same.
With craving and aversion,
with the darkened mind's delusion,
the eye is burning, burning,
an ashen end is earning.
The ear is burning, burning,
the nose to flame is turning,
the tongue its fire earning,
body and mind are burning.
The noble seeker tires
of his senses with their fires,
and casts aside all craving,
all aversion with its raving,
his mind from delusion saving,
and is made truly free.
For beyond rebirth is victory,
the victory of sanctity,
in sanctity the ecstasy
of all fulfilled and done.
Of purgatory, which stills all desire
Work, devotion, insight grow,
an intermingled fire-glow,
into a kingly lore,
growing more and ever more
in light that purges every sin,
purifies the hearts of men,
with inner splendor shining,
every glory intertwining.
The world of flesh is ever-changed,
battered, moved, by force deranged,
but it cannot enchain the light
unmoved to fear or flight,
unchanged above the fight.
Those who tread the holy course
come to rest in purest source,
which is both psalm and sacrifice,
which is both priest and priest's device,
the ever-burning fire
that quenches all desire,
the candle, offering, and adored,
the Prayer, Priest, and holy Lord,
the baptizing font of eternity
beyond and more than victory!
Who will in hope of heart convert
will to heaven's Lord revert,
no matter sin, no matter shame,
return again to holy name.
Fix heart and thought on what endures,
the being, thought, and bliss most pure!
III. The Most Songly Song
Of heaven, which is the saint in God
May he kiss --
-- your love more sweet than wine,
the very bliss beyond all fruit of vine --
-- the incense fair, a holy name,
all things, all things love you, who are one and same;
as king into the inmost place,
loving lure and loving chase --
-- all wealth is as if nothing next to you --
-- like crocus I am overflowing dew,
more pure than all, my love is lily-true.
He is an apple tree, freshly sweet;
beneath his shade I take my seat.
Refreshed with apples, drunk with love,
may his hand be underneath me, he above,
like gazelle leaping upon the hill,
a splendor that my eyes would fill --
-- the flowers bloom; in spring is heard
the singing of the gentle bird;
arise, my love, come away,
my love unveil your splendid ray:
let loose your voice, unhide your face --
-- with him do I find my place,
thought and thought intertwine,
for I am his and he is mine.
O north-wind rise, upon this garden blow;
O come, my love, as breeze-held spices flow! --
-- I come into my garden, O bride most fair and mine,
and gather myrrh, taste honey, and drink my wine --
-- a mansion of riches is my beloved, marble and gold to his feet,
altogether lovely and mouth most lovely sweet --
-- my pure, my dove, is one and only one,
joysome as dawn, fair as moon, clear as sun;
I went down to the garden to see the earth bloom bright
and I was made a king by the sight --
-- I am my beloved's, his love is for me;
let us go down to the garden, the blooming to see --
-- set me as a seal upon your heart, forever same,
for love is strong as death and (I dare to speak the Name),
it is God-flame,
unquenched by any water's flood,
ever-resting, ever-acting, ever good.