[from Collected Works, T.E.Brown]
IN sorrow and in nakedness of soul
I look into the street,
If haply there mine eye may meet,
As up and down it ranges,
The servants of my Father bearing changes
Of raiment sweet
Seven changes sweet with violet and moly,
Seven changes pure and holy.
But nowhere 'mid the thick entangled throng
Mark I their proud sad paces ;
Nowhere the light upon their faces,
Serene with that great beauty
Wherein the singly meditated duty
Its empire traces :
Only the fretful merchants stand and cry :
"Come buy! come buy! come buy !"
And the big bales are drunk with all the purple
That wells in vats of Tyre,
And unrolled damasks stream with golden fire
And broideries of Ind,
And, piled on Polar furs, are braveries winned
From far Gadire.
And I am waiting, abject, cold, and numb,
Yet sure that they will come.
O naked soul, be patient in this stead
"Thrice blest are they that wait.
O Father of my soul, the gate
Will open soon, and they
Who minister to Thee and Thine alway
Will enter straight,
And speak to me, that I shall understand
The speech of Thy great land.
And I will rise, and wash, and they will dress me
As Thou wouldst have me dressed ;
And I shall stand confest
Thy son ; and men shall falter :
"Behold the ephod of the unseen altar
Thy raiment is not from the looms of earth,
But has a Heavenly birth."