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Edward Dowden

(3 May 1843 - 4 April 1913 / Co. Cork / Ireland)

Deus Absconditus


SINCE Thou dost clothe Thyself to-day in cloud,
Lord God in heaven, and no voice low or loud
Proclaims Thee,--see, I turn me to the Earth,
Its wisdom and its sorrow and its mirth,
Thy Earth perchance, but sure my very own,
And precious to me grows the clod, the stone,
A voiceless moor's brooding monotony,
A keen star quivering through the sunset dye,
Young wrinkled beech leaves, saturate with light,
The arching wave's suspended malachite;
I turn to men, Thy sons perchance, but sure
My brethren, and no face shall be too poor
To yield me some unquestionable gain
Of wonder, laughter, loathing, pity, pain,
Some dog-like craving caught in human eyes,
Some new-wak'd spirit's April ecstasies;
These will not fail nor foil me; while I live
There will be actual truck in take and give,
But Thou hast foil'd me; therefore undistraught,
I cease from seeking what will not be sought,
Or sought, will not be found through joy or fear;
If still Thou claimst me, seek me. I am here.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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