14 February 2009

"This Trackless Solitude" by Jessica Powers

Perhaps on Valentine's day there are many poems of Jessica Powers which could be used to signal the love which is the hermit's and which calls to all of us, whatever our vocation, but I think the following one is lovely. Romantic love, wonderful as it is, is a shadow and sacrament of a love which is even deeper and summons us from within; in this poem Sister Miriam captures this beautifully.

Deep in the soul the acres lie
of virgin lands, of sacred wood
where waits the Spirit. Each soul bears
this trackless solitude.

The Voice invites, implores in vain
the fearful and the unaware;
but she who heeds and enters in
finds ultimate wisdom there.

The Spirit lights the way for her;
bramble and brush are pushed apart.
He lures her into wilderness
but to rejoice her heart.

Beneath the glistening foliage
the fruit of love hangs always near,
the one immortal fruit; He is
or, tasted: He is here.

Love leads and she surrenders to
His will, His waylessness of grace.
She speaks no word save His, nor moves
until He marks the place.

Hence all her paths are mystery,
passaging a Divine unknown.
Her only light is in the creed
that she is not alone.

The soul that wanders, Spirit led,
becomes, in His transforming shade,
the secret that she was, in God,
before the world was made.