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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By A Heretic and Other Poems (1891). II. The Vision of God

Walter Chalmers Smith (1824–1908)

O THE SILENCES of heaven,

How they speak to me of God,

Now the veil in twain is riven

That concealed where He abode!

Yet its clouds were once around Him,

And I sought Him in despair,

And never there I found Him,

Till I brought Him with me there.

Not the optic glass revealed Him,

No mechanical device

Pierced the darkness that concealed Him

With a vision more precise:

Only lowliness can merit

That His secret He should tell

Only spirit seeth spirit,

And the heart that loveth well.

Never till His love hath found thee,

Shall the cloud and mist depart;

Vain to seek Him all around thee,

Till He dwell within thy heart.

Not without thee, but within thee

Must the oracle be heard,

As He seeketh still to win thee,

And to guide thee by His word.

When I found Him in my bosom,

Then I found Him everywhere,

In the bud and in the blossom,

In the earth and in the air;

And He spake to me with clearness

From the silent stars that say,

As ye find Him in His nearness,

Ye shall find Him far away.