Wages

A poem by Maurice Henry Hewlett

Sometimes the spirit that never leaves me quite
Taps at my heart when thou art in the way,
Saying, Now thy Queen cometh: therefore pray,
Lest she should see thee vile, and at the sight
Shiver and fly back piteous to the light
That wanes when she is absent. Then, as I may,
I wash my soil├Ęd hands and muttering, say,
Lord, make me clean; robe Thou me in Thy white!

So for a brief space, clad in ecstasy,
Pure, disembodied, I fall to kiss thy feet,
And sense thy glory throbbing round about;
Whereafter, rising, I hold thee in a sweet
And gentle converse that lifts me up to be,
When thou art gone, strange to the gross world's rout.

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