Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"He Saw My Heart's Woe"




: Charlotte Bronte
Waterhouse

He saw my heart's woe, discovered my soul's anguish,
How in fever, in thirst, in atrophy it pined;
Knew he could heal, yet looked and let it languish, -
To its moans spirit-deaf, to its pangs spirit-blind.

But once a year he heard a whisper low and dreary
Appealing for aid, entreating some reply;
Only when sick, soul-worn, and torture-weary,
Breathed I that prayer, heaved I that sigh.

He was mute as is the grave, he stood stirless as a
tower;
At last I looked up, and saw I prayed to stone:
I asked for help of that which to help had no power,
I sought love where love was utterly unknown.

Idolater I kneeled to an idol cut in rock!
I might have slashed my flesh and drawn my heart's best blood:
The Granite God had felt no tenderness, no shock;
My Baal had not seen nor heard nor understood.

On dark remorse I rose; I rose in darker shame;
Self-condemned I withdrew to an exile from my kind;
A solitude I sought where mortal never came,
Hoping in its wilds forgetfulness to find.

Now, Heaven, heal the wound which I still deeply feel;
Thy glorious host look not in scorn on our poor race;
Thy King eternal doth no iron judgment deal 
On suffering worms who seek forgiveness, comfort, grace.

He gave our hearts to love: He will not love despise,
E'en if the gift be lost, as mine was long ago;
He will forgive the fault, will bid the offender rise,
Wash out with dews of bliss the fiery brand of woe;

And give a sheltered place beneath the unsullied
throne,
Whence the soul redeemed may mark Time's fleeting course round earth;
And knows its trials overpast, its sufferings gone,
And feel the peril past of Death's immortal birth.



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