Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE TRANCE, by LASCELLES ABERCROMBIE



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THE TRANCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Lord god, I saw thee then; one mind last night
Last Line: Or a cry out of a fearful ecstasy.
Subject(s): Hypnosis; Worship


LORD GOD, I saw thee then; one mind last night,
Met thee upon thy ways.
I was upon a hill, alone;
My drudgèd sense was aching in amaze:
Into my thought had too much gone
The inconceivable room of the blue night,—
The blue that seems so near to be
Appearance of divinity,—
And the continual stars.
I was afraid at so much permanence,
And was in trouble with vastness and fixt law.
All round about I saw
The law's unalterable fence,
And like forgery of shining bars
The stresses of the suns were there,
Keeping, in vastness prisoner,
My thought caged from infinity.
And then, suddenly,—
While perhaps twice my heart was dutiful
To send my blood upon its little race,—
I was exalted above surety
And out of time did fall.
As from a slander that did long distress,
A sudden justice vindicated me
From the customary wrong of Great and Small
I stood outside the burning rims of place,
Outside that corner, consciousness.
Then was I not in the midst of thee
Lord God?
A momentary gust
Of power, a swift dismay
Putting the infinite quiet to disarray,
A thing like anger or outbreaking lust,
A zeal immeasurably sent,—
So Law came and went,
And smote into a bright astonishment
Of stars the season of eternity,
And grazed the darkness into glowing lanes.
Swiftly that errand of God's vehemence,
The passion which was Law, slid by,
Carrying surge of creatures, fiery manes
Of matter and the worldly foam
And riddles of transgressing flame;
So the Law's kindled shakings came
A moment, and went utterly.
And seemed to be no more
Than if through the eternal corridor
Of emptiness a sob did roam,
Or a cry out of a fearful ecstasy.





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