The Blessed Damozel
THE blessed Damozel lean'd out
From the gold bar of Heaven:
Her blue grave eyes were deeper much
Than a deep water, even.
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.
Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary's gift
On the neck meetly worn;
And her hair, lying down her back,
Was yellow like ripe corn.
Herseem'd she scarce had been a day
One of God's choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.
(To one it is ten years of years:
...Yet now, here in this place,
Surely she lean'd o'er me,--her hair
Fell all about my face....
Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)
It was the terrace of God's house
That she was standing on,--
By God built over the sheer depth
In which Space is begun;
So high, that looking downward thence,
She scarce could see the sun.
It lies from Heaven across the flood
Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and night
With flame and darkness ridge
The void, as low as where this earth
Spins like a fretful midge.
But in those tracts, with her, it was
The peace of utter light
And silence. For no breeze may stir
Along the steady flight
Of seraphim; no echo there,
Beyond all depth or height.
Heard hardly, some of her new friends,
Playing at holy games,
Spake gentle-mouth'd, among themselves,
Their virginal chaste names;
And the souls, mounting up to God,
Went by her like thin flames.
And still she bow'd herself, and stoop'd
Into the vast waste calm;
Till her bosom's pressure must have made
The bar she lean'd on warm,
And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm.
From the fixt lull of Heaven, she saw
Time, like a pulse, shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove,
In that steep gulf, to pierce
The swarm; and then she spoke, as when
The stars sang in their spheres.
'I wish that he were come to me,
For he will come,' she said.
'Have I not pray'd in solemn Heaven?
On earth, has he not pray'd?
Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
And shall I feel afraid?
'When round his head the aureole clings,
And he is clothed in white,
I'll take his hand, and go with him
To the deep wells of light,
And we will step down as to a stream
And bathe there in God's sight.
'We two will stand beside that shrine,
Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps tremble continually
With prayer sent up to God;
'We two will lie i' the shadow of
That living mystic tree
Within whose secret growth the Dove
Sometimes is felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes touch
Saith His name audibly.
'And I myself will teach to him,--
I myself, lying so,--
The songs I sing here; which his mouth
Shall pause in, hush'd and slow,
Finding some knowledge at each pause,
And some new thing to know.'
I read this poem in Class X. I love the part which is highlighted which means that every prayer on earth lights a lamp in heaven and every time that is heard it goes up in smoke. Its so beautiful to imagine hundreds and millions and thousands of lamps. WOW !!!!!! And searching for this poem on the net also taught me a few things. You do find what you are looking for, if you look well. I just remembered the lines I like and that too in simple English not as written by the poet, I did not remember the name of the poem, nor the poet. But I did find it. I remembered i more line the about the girl have seven stars in her hair. Don't ask what all sites and results it got. You might say that in today's world google solves every question but then you need that effort. I think it would have easier to find it in the book. I would have looked up Class X poems , though the syllabus has changed. I did come across my Class Xth Board English paper during the search ... that was something!! Well just wanted to share a poem I liked, for the lack of my own creation. Also like the poem because of its love and loss theme. Its a longer poem than I have posted here. Do not remember reading the whole thing in school. I guess they wanted us to read till the hopeful part. How sweet !!!!! For those who want to read the whole poem the link is given below.