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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Peccavi, Domine

By Archibald Lampman (1861–1899)

O POWER to whom this earthly clime

Is but an atom in the whole,

O Poet-heart of Space and Time,

O Maker and immortal Soul,

Within whose glowing rings are bound,

Out of whose sleepless heart had birth

The cloudy blue, the starry round,

And this small miracle of earth:

Who liv’st in every living thing,

And all things are thy script and chart,

Who rid’st upon the eagle’s wing,

And yearnest in the human heart;

O Riddle with a single clue,

Love, deathless, protean, secure,

The ever old, the ever new,

O Energy, serene and pure.

Thou, who art also part of me,

Whose glory I have sometime seen,

O Vision of the Ought-to-be,

O Memory of the Might-have-been,

I have had glimpses of thy way,

And moved with winds and walked with stars,

But weary, I have fallen astray,

And, wounded, who shall count my scars?

O Master, all my strength is gone;

Unto the very earth I bow;

I have no light to lead me on;

With aching heart and burning brow,

I lie as one that travaileth

In sorrow more than he can bear;

I sit in darkness as of death,

And scatter dust upon my hair.

The God within my soul hath slept,

And I have shamed the nobler rule;

O Master, I have whined and crept;

O Spirit, I have played the fool.

Like him of old upon whose head

His follies hung in dark arrears,

I groan and travail in my bed,

And water it with bitter tears.

I stand upon thy mountain-heads,

And gaze until mine eyes are dim;

The golden morning glows and spreads;

The hoary vapors break and swim.

I see thy blossoming fields, divine,

Thy shining clouds, thy blessèd trees—

And then that broken soul of mine—

How much less beautiful than these!

O Spirit, passionless, but kind,

Is there in all the world, I cry,

Another one so base and blind,

Another one so weak as I?

O Power, unchangeable, but just,

Impute this one good thing to me,

I sink my spirit to the dust

In utter dumb humility.