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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Celestial Passion

By Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)

O WHITE and midnight sky, O starry bath,

Wash me in thy pure, heavenly, crystal flood;

Cleanse me, ye stars, from earthly soil and scath—

Let not one taint remain in spirit or blood!

Receive my soul, ye burning, awful deeps;

Touch and baptize me with the mighty power

That in ye thrills, while the dark planet sleeps;

Make me all yours for one blest, secret hour!

O glittering host, O high angelic choir,

Silence each tone that with thy music jars;

Fill me even as an urn with thy white fire

Till all I am is kindred to the stars!

Make me thy child, thou infinite, holy night,—

So shall my days be full of heavenly light!