POETRY: Dynamic Love by Evelyn Underhill

Dynamic Love Evelyn Underhill

Not to me
Unmoved Mover of philosophy
And absolute still sum of all that is,
The God whom I adore—not this!
Nay, rather a great moving wave of bliss,
A surging torrent of dynamic love
In passionate swift career,
That down the sheer
And fathomless abyss
Of Being ever pours, his ecstasy to prove.

As the glad river’s life
More glad becomes in music of much strife,
So does that spiritual flood
Dashed in full song,
In quick stupendous majesty of joy
The oppositions of the world among,
Come to fair crest in every breaking bud:
Yea, can the very conflict’s self employ
A colored spray of loveliness to fling
Athwart the world-wide landscape on the wing
Of every flying thing.

Dynamic love glints gay on the plume’s tip
Of fat and restless wrens, tears at the heart
From the divine and vibrant bramble wreathes
That mesh the hedge with beauty. It out-breathes
I am rooted and grounded in him,
The small leaves of my soul
Thrust up from his will

I know not the terrible peak,
The white and ineffable Thought,
When the hill-torrents flow
And my nurture is brought.
I am little and meek;
I dare not to lift
My look to his snow,
But drink, drop by drop, of its gift.

Some say, on the face
Of that ultimate height
Small plants have their place:
Rapt far from our sight
In the solitude strange
Where the infinite dream mounts range beyond range
To the infinite sky, there they grow.

Where the intellect faints
In the silence and cold,
There, humble and glad, their petals unfold.
As the innocent bell
Of the Least Soldanella thrusts up through the snow,
So the hearts of the saints
On the terrible height of the Godhead may dwell;
Held safe by the Will
As we, on the smooth of the hill.

Fragrance of pure surrender in the smart
Of sacrificial hay-fields. On the lip
Of frail ecstatic poppies it brims up,
As flaming meditations in the soul
Drowsed with deep passion. E’en the narrow cup
Of inconspicuous vervein still the strange
And awful tincture to fulfillment brings:
There doth my Dear pursue his chemic art,
And thence distills the magic of the whole.
For Love is time, succession, ardor, change;
It is the holy thrust of living things
That seek a consummation and enlace
Some fragment of the All in each fecund embrace
Whence life again flows forth upon its endless chase.

Love ever moves, yet love eternal is;
Love ever seeks, yet seeks itself to find;
And, all-surrendered to the leman’s kiss,
Doth but itself with its own passion bind.
O sacred, ceaseless flow!
O wondrous meeting
Of the unchanging and the ever-fleeting,
That still by the sad way of sorriest lust
Confers a secret glory on the teeming dust.
See! by love’s loss we find ourselves indeed,
See! the world’s death the world’s true life doth feed,
And Love dynamic to Love’s rest doth go.


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