IN THE WORKSHOP

Dim watery lights gleaming on gibbering faces,
Faces speechful, barren of soul and sordid,
Huddled and chewing a jest, lewd and gabbled
insidious:
Laughter, born of its dung, flashes and floods like sunlight,
Filling the room with a sense of a soul lethargic and kindly,
Touches my soul with a pathos, a hint of a wide desolation.

II
I saw the face of God to-day,
I heard the music of His smile,
And yet I was not far away,
And yet in Paradise the while.

I lay upon the sparkling grass,
And God's own mouth was kissing me,
And there was nothing that did pass
But blazed with divinity.

Divine-divine-upon my eyes,
Upon mine hair-divine--divine,
The fervour of the golden skies,
The ardent gaze of God on mine.

III
Then snake I to the tree, '
Were ye your own desire
What is it ye would be?'

Answered the tree to me,
'I am my own desire,
I am what 1 would be.

' If you were your desire
Would you lie under me,
And see me as you see?'

'I am my own desire
While I lie under you,
And that which I would be
Desire will sing to you.'

IV
I wander-I wander-0 will she wander here
Where'er my footsteps carry me I know that she is near,
A jewelled lamp within her hand and jewels in her hair ;
I lost her in a vision once and seek her everywhere.

My spirit whispers she is near, I look at you and you :
Surely she has not passed me, I sleeping as she flew.
I wander-I wander, and yet she is not here,
Although my spirit whispers to me that she is near.

More verses by Isaac Rosenberg

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