Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VISION ON THE MOUNT, by PHOEBE CARY



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THE VISION ON THE MOUNT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh, if this living soul, that many a time
Last Line: The shadow of the lord has passed us by.
Subject(s): Religion; Theology


OH, if this living soul, that many a time
Above the low things of the earth doth climb,
Up to the mountain-top of faith sublime,
If she could only stay
In that high place alway,
And hear, in reverence bowed,
God's voice behind the cloud:

Or if descending to the earth again
Its lesson in the heart might still remain;
If we could keep the vision, clear and plain,
Nor let one jot escape,
So that we still might shape
Our lives to deeds sublime
By that exalted time:

Ah! what a world were ours to journey through!
What deeds of love and mercy we should do:
Making our lives so beautiful and true,
That in our face would shine
The light of love divine,
Showing that we had stood
Upon the mount of God.

But earthy of the earth, we downward tend,
From the pure height of faith our feet descend,
The hour of exaltation hath its end.
And we, alas! forget,
In life's turmoil and fret,
The pattern to us shown,
When on the mount alone.

Yea, we forget the rapture we had known,
Forget the voice that talked to us alone,
Forget the brightness past, the cloud that shone;
We have no need to veil
Our faces, dim and pale,
So soon from out them dies
The sweet light of the skies.

We come down from the height where we have been,
And build our tabernacles low and mean,
Not by the pattern in the vision seen
Remembering no more,
When once the hour is o'er,
How in the safe cleft of the rock on high,
The shadow of the Lord has passed us by.





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