The Candle of the Lord
“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.”
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of
Our spirit—ay, our own!—the tree whose fruits
Have never fail'd—the sign upon the door
'Twixt us and God's intelligent dumb brutes,
That parts us evermore!
Our spirit—last, best gift—still unbereft
Of treasures stored in Eden's happy land;
One fragment of the human, as it left
The Divine Maker's hand.
That seal of our high birth He did allow
Toea unharm'd the sin and woe and strife;
That remnant of our godhead—wanting now
Only the “breath of life.”
Only the breath of life, whereby the Lord
Made us to be His equals, fit to fill
His throne—our free wills brought into accord
With His own sovereign will.
Our spirit—not the feeble soul which came
With our dishonour'd state and its new needs;
And not the feebler heart of sin and shame,
That daily breaks and bleeds.
Our spirit—our unshatter'd lamp—still ours—
Fill'd with the heavenly essence, as of yore,—
To bear a light, to light the midnight hours,
And light the wreck to shore.
Ay, 'tis the same—the same! It hath not shared
The mutilation and the curse and blight;
When the destruction fell, the lamp was spared—
Only deprived of Light.
O God! and hath it ever ceased to grope
For light, and yearn and cry for light to come?
In blackest gloom, ere revelation spoke,
While yet the Christ was dumb,
Thou knowest it search'd for every wandering ray,
And never wearied of the weary quest;
And fed and fenced and treasured, day by day,
A glimmer in its breast.
O holy Dove! O Grace! O Love! come down—
Our spirit with Thy perfect light inspire!
Circle each candle with its flaming crown,
Its cloven tongue of fire!
Ada Cambridge's Other Poems
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