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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baha'u'llah -- a poem by Thornton Chase



I.
O Light Divine Invisible!
   Immeasurable Light!
Eternal as Divinity!
   lmpenetrably Bright!
The living universe bows down
   And veils its face before Thee.
All angels and archangels bend
   And happily adore Thee.

II.
O Shining Spirit! Light of Light!
   All-flooding, radiant beam,
Eternally proceeding
   Forth from Him, the Lord Supreme;
To all immensity of life,
   Himself Thou art revealing;
With Thine intensity of light,
   Himself Thou art concealing.

III.
He is the Essence, Thou the Power,
   The Glory, Majesty.
The Omnipresence. He, Unknown
   And Nameless, save for Thee!
Above all height and depth is He,
   In His own SELF abiding;
Through Thee all depth and height He fills.
   Through Thee Creation guiding.

IV.
As light from flame, Thou art from Him;
   As fragrance from the flower;
As colors from the prism'd light;
   As rainbow from the shower;
As thought from mind; or word from thought;
   As deed by vision guided.
So He and Thou art only ONE.
   Not dual, nor divided.

V.
O Splendor of the Spaceless! Thou,
   Though hosts of wandering suns,
Dost quicken dense, material spheres.
   Where these dull-shining ones
Are lords of matter, time, and space;
   Their powers from Thee obtaining,
Obedient vassals of Thy will,
   Beneath Thy glory waning.

VI.
Thou art the flame of Life itself,
   The Ever-living Light,
These burn with imitative fires
   Through matter's solid night;
With semblance of creative heat;
   worlds, moons and earthlings breeding;
Yet, all, in traceless paths confined,
   Thine ordered ways are speeding.

VII.
The planets feel Thy quivering life
   And bring forth of their kind,
All plants, and creeping things, and beasts,
   And men of dust -- but blind
To Thy Realities are they --
   In earthy dungeons dwelling,
Imprisoned deep in sense sod self,
   The Light Unseen repelling.

VIII.
O Life of Life! O Perfect Light!
   Pierce through the darkening walls;
Bring forth the prisoners to Thy Day;
   Remove the veiling cauls;
Create new sight, new hearts, new minds;
   Reveal the heavenly vision:
Disperse the dust-formed clouds of seIf;
   Disclose the fields Elysian!

IX.
O Word of God! Light, Love and Life --
   Transmuted into speech!
Thou mighty Logos -- come from heaven,
   The Will Divine to teach!
Incarnate Gift to happy men,
   Endowed with power perceiving,
With speaking tongues and listening ears,
   With minds and hearts believing.

X.
Speak Thou to self-endarkened souls!
   Command, "Let there be Light!"
So shall eternal Day appear
   To end chaotic night.
The morning stars shall ring again
   The anthem of creation:
The sons of God shall shout for joy
   With new divine elation.

XI.
Thy Word, O Light, is knowledge, truth!
   Thy University,
The boundless shining realms of life,
   Which minors only Thee.
This mind of mine's a twinkling orb,
   Toward Thy clear sun advancing:
A flickering mote of mental dust,
   In Thy great splendor dancing.

XII.
Thy flame is love, the living Fire!
   Thine alchemy divine
Transmutes man’s spirit into Life,
   The water into wine.
Within thy crucible, O Love,
   With Thee this heart is blending;
Its life outdrawn, to be reborn
   From death to Life unending.

XIII.
Thou Holy Light! So calmly pure
   So penetrating, sweet;
The whole creation's living heart
   Is melted in Thy heat.
The souls of things turn unto Thee,
   Thy radiant Love divining,
As dewdrop glisten in the dawn.
   Each one a sunlet shining.

XIV.
Thou crystal Ocean, limpid, clear,
   Unstained and colorless!
All life is Thine, all beauty Thine,
   All beings Thee confess.
As fish in sea, I live in Thee.
   All life but Thine denying.
As gnat in flame, in The I die
   In ecstasy of dying.

XV.
Immortal Spirit! Loving Power!
   Thou dost my soul enthrall.
I am in Thee, and Thou in me;
   Else were I not at all.
For what I am, have hen, shall be.
   Is Thine, nor of my earning;
A debtor I, with naught to pay,
   Except Thine own, returning.

XVI.
Thou Primal Parent! Lift Thy sons
   Into the heavens of Truth!
Give them new birth in realms of Light,
   Grant them eternal youth.
That they may serve Thy Universe
   With wisdom, strength, perfection;
True stars and suns of Thy pure Light,
   Ablaze rich Thy reflection.

XVII.
As iron, glowing in the fire,
   Shows glistening and more bright,
So spirits, serving Thee in love,
   Are nuclei of light.
Infilled with Thee, O Fire of Life,
   In Thee all self resigning;
Through space empyreal they fly,
   Pure flames of glory shining.

XVIII.
Thou All in all! The worlds of worlds
   Are filled with naught but Thee.
Both light and darkness, heaven and hell,
   Thou art, O Mystery!
Thou dost create, sustain, destroy;
   Yet Thou unchanged abidest.
With seventy thousand veils of light
   The INFINITE Thou hidest.

XIX.
Ah, Wondrous Light! Invisible,
   Immeasurable Light!
Begotten of Divinity,
   Impenetrably bright!
Heaven-filled, the Universe, aglow
   Unveils its face before Thee.
All angels and archangels know,
   And happily adore Thee.

-      Thornton Chase
(The Baha’i World 1930-1932)