The Mystery Of Pain

Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not.

It has no future but itself,
Its infinite realms contain
Its past, enlightened to perceive
New periods of pain.

by Emily Dickinson.

381

A Secret told—
Ceases to be a Secret—then—
A Secret—kept—
That—can appal but One—

Better of it—continual be afraid—
Than it—
And Whom you told it to—beside—

by Emily Dickinson.

Ours Was A Friendship In Secret

Ours was a friendship in secret, my dear,
Stolen from fate.
I must be secret still, show myself calm
Early and late.
'Isn't it sad he was killed!' I must hear
With a smooth face.
'Yes, it is sad.' — Oh, my darling, my own,
My heart of grace.

by Lesbia Harford.

In the profoundest ocean
There is a rainbow shell,
It is always there, shining most stilly
Under the greatest storm waves
That the old Greek called "ripples of laughter."
As you listen, the rainbow shell
Sings--in the profoundest ocean.
It is always there, singing most silently!

by Katherine Mansfield.

Misery Is Mystery

Misery his heart hath broken
Misery is mystery!
Let the sad one lonely be;
As the Ancients shunned the token
Of a lightning‐blasted tree.

Breathe no word, his doom is spoken
Misery is mystery mistery !
By its scathing lightning fated,
Human hearts are consecrated,
For a higher destiny.

by Lady Jane Wilde.

Never seek to tell thy love,
Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind does move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,
I told her all my heart;
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears,
Ah! she did depart!

Soon as she was gone from me,
A traveler came by,
Silently, invisibly
He took her with a sigh.

by William Blake.

I loved thee, though I told thee not,
Right earlily and long,
Thou wert my joy in every spot,
My theme in every song.
And when I saw a stranger face
Where beauty held the claim,
I gave it like a secret grace
The being of thy name.
And all the charms of face or voice
Which I in others see
Are but the recollected choice
Of what I felt for thee.

by John Clare.

Your eyes drink of me,
Love makes them shine,
Your eyes that lean
So close to mine.

We have long been lovers,
We know the range
Of each other's moods
And how they change;

But when we look
At each other so
Then we feel
How little we know;

The spirit eludes us,
Timid and free—
Can I ever know you
Or you know me?


Submitted by Venus

by Sara Teasdale.

Because Thou Art Nearest

Because thou art nearest
To the mystery of the fire
That is Earth's and the soul's
And the body's desire,
Whereof we were made
As a song out of sound,
Trembling together
And together enwound,
O frailer, more fading
The hope and the lure
That are not where thou art:--
They fade nor endure,
But in thee is the secret,
The star, and the fire,
Ever nearer and dearer,
My joy, my desire.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

'PUT off that mask of burning gold
With emerald eyes.'
'O no, my dear, you make so bold
To find if hearts be wild and wise,
And yet not cold.'
'I would but find what's there to find,
Love or deceit.'
'It was the mask engaged your mind,
And after set your heart to beat,
Not what's behind.'
'But lest you are my enemy,
I must enquire.'
'O no, my dear, let all that be;
What matter, so there is but fire
In you, in me?'

by William Butler Yeats.

That love's dull smart distressed my heart
He shrewdly learnt to see,
But that I was in love with a dead man
Never suspected he.


He searched for the trace of a pictured face,
He watched each missive come,
And a note that seemed like a love-line
Made him look frozen and glum.


He dogged my feet to the city street,
He followed me to the sea,
But not to the neighbouring churchyard
Did he dream of following me.

by Thomas Hardy.

The throng about her did not know,
Her nearest friend could not surmise
Whence came the brightness and the glow,
The wondrous radiance of her eyes.

One said, half enviously: 'Your face
Is beautiful with gladness rare,
With that warm, generous heart of yours
Some precious secret you must share.'

Ah, true beneath the filmy lace
That rose and fell upon her breast,
Her first love-taken held its place-
From him, from him whom she loved best!

by Jean Blewett.

Dust Is The Only Secret

153

Dust is the only Secret—
Death, the only One
You cannot find out all about
In his "native town."

Nobody know "his Father"—
Never was a Boy—
Hadn't any playmates,
Or "Early history"—

Industrious! Laconic!
Punctual! Sedate!
Bold as a Brigand!
Stiller than a Fleet!

Builds, like a Bird, too!
Christ robs the Nest—
Robin after Robin
Smuggled to Rest!

by Emily Dickinson.

I Love My Love In Secret

MY Sandy gied to me a ring,
Was a' beset wi' diamonds fine;
But I gied him a far better thing,
I gied my heart in pledge o' his ring.


Chorus.—My Sandy O, my Sandy O,
My bonie, bonie Sandy O;
Tho' the love that I owe
To thee I dare na show,
Yet I love my love in secret, my Sandy O.


My Sandy brak a piece o' gowd,
While down his cheeks the saut tears row'd;
He took a hauf, and gied it to me,
And I'll keep it till the hour I die.
My Sand O, &c.

by Robert Burns.

There Is A Safe And Secret Place

There is a safe and secret place,
Beneath the wings divine,
Reserved for all the heirs of grace;
O be that refuge mine!

The least and feeblest there may bide,
Uninjured and unawed;
While thousands fall on every side,
He rests secure in God.

He feeds in pastures, large and fair,
Of love and truth divine,
O child of God, O glory’s heir,
How rich a lot is thine!

A hand almighty to defend,
An ear for every call,
An honored life, a peaceful end,
And heaven to crown it all!

by Henry Francis Lyte.

Fly, heedless stranger, from this spot accurst,
Where rests in Satan an offender first
In point of greatness, as in point of time,
Of new-school rascals who proclaim their crime.
Skilled with a frank loquacity to blab
The dark arcana of each mighty grab,
And famed for lying from his early youth,
He sinned secure behind a veil of truth.
Some lock their lips upon their deeds; some write
A damning record and conceal from sight;
Some, with a lust of speaking, die to quell it.
His way to keep a secret was to tell it.

by Ambrose Bierce.

The Mystery Of A Year

A little while, a year agone,
I knew her for a romping child,
A dimple and a glance that shone
With idle mischief when she smiled.

To-day she passed me in the press,
And turning with a quick surprise
I wondered at her stateliness,
I wondered at her altered eyes.

To me the street was just the same,
The people and the city's stir;
But life had kindled into flame,
And all the world was changed for her.

I watched her in the crowded ways,
A noble form, a queenly head,
With all the woman in her gaze,
The conscious woman in her tread.

by Archibald Lampman.

Village Mystery

The woman in the pointed hood
And cloak blue-gray like a pigeon's wing,
Whose orchard climbs to the balsam-wood,
Has done a cruel thing.

To her back door-step came a ghost,
A girl who had been ten years dead,
She stood by the granite hitching-post
And begged for a piece of bread.

Now why should I, who walk alone,
Who am ironical and proud,
Turn, when a woman casts a stone
At a beggar in a shroud?

I saw the dead girl cringe and whine,
And cower in the weeping air--
But, oh, she was no kin of mine,
And so I did not care!

by Elinor Morton Wylie.

Let me but love my love without disguise,
Nor wear a mask of fashion old or new,
Nor wait to speak till I can hear a clue,
Nor play a part to shine in others' eyes,
Nor bow my knees to what my heart denies;
But what I am, to that let me be true,
And let me worship where my love is due,
And so through love and worship let me rise.

For love is but the heart's immortal thirst
To be completely known and all forgiven,
Even as sinful souls that enter Heaven:
So take me, dear, and understand my worst,
And freely pardon it, because confessed,
And let me find in loving thee, my best.

by Henry Van Dyke.

Carigieburn Wood

Sweet fa's the eve on Craigieburn,
And blythe awakens the morrow,
But a' the pride o' spring's return
Can yield me nocht but sorrow.

I see the flowers and spreading trees,
I hear the wild birds singing;
But what a weary wight can please,
And care his bosom wringing?

Fain, fain would I my griefs impart,
Yet darena for your anger'
But secret love will break my heart,
If I conceal it langer.

If thou refuse to pity me,
If thou shalt love anither,
When yon green leaves fade frae the tree,
Around my grave they'll wither.

by Robert Burns.


If sunset clouds could grow on trees
It would but match the may in flower;
And skies be underneath the seas
No topsyturvier than a shower.

If mountains rose on wings to wander
They were no wilder than a cloud;
Yet all my praise is mean as slander,
Mean as these mean words spoken aloud.

And never more than now I know
That man's first heaven is far behind;
Unless the blazing seraph's blow
Has left him in the garden blind.

Witness, O Sun that blinds our eyes,
Unthinkable and unthankable King,
That though all other wonder dies
I wonder at not wondering.

by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Xxv

My childhood, then, had passed a mystery
Shrouded by death, my boyhood a shut thing.
The passion of my soul as it grew free
With growing youth, a bird with broken wing,
Knew nothing of its strength to dare or do,
Or, if it dreamed of battle still to come,
That was its secret hidden in the blue
Of life's great vault of tears which was its doom,
A duty of revenge some day for blood.
Enough! You know I held me from the press
To whom base things are nothing, that I stood
Parted from this world's weekday wickedness
By a whole legend of romance sublime,
Perhaps by the dead virtue of a crime.

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Xxii

You know the story of my birth, the name
Which I inherited for good and ill,
The secret of my father's fame and shame,
His tragedy and death on that dark hill.
You know at least what the world knows or knew,
For time has taken half the lookers--on,
As it took him, and leaves his followers few,
And those that loved him scarce or almost none.
To me, his son, there had remained the story,
Told and retold by her who knew it best,
A mystery of love, perhaps of glory,
A heritage to hold and a bequest.
Ah, how it loved him, that sad woman's heart,
What faith was hers and what a martyr's part!

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

The Skies Can'T Keep Their Secret!

191

The Skies can't keep their secret!
They tell it to the Hills—
The Hills just tell the Orchards—
And they—the Daffodils!

A Bird—by chance—that goes that way—
Soft overhears the whole—
If I should bribe the little Bird—
Who knows but she would tell?

I think I won't—however—
It's finer—not to know—
If Summer were an Axiom—
What sorcery had Snow?

So keep your secret—Father!
I would not—if I could,
Know what the Sapphire Fellows, do,
In your new-fashioned world!

by Emily Dickinson.

As a most happy mother feels the stir
Of that new life which quickens with her life,
And knows that virtue has gone forth from her
To doubly sanctify the name of wife;
Yet, for her joy's sake, and because pride
Is too unutterably sanctified,
And all the heaven of heavens within her breast
Too dearly and too intimately possessed,
Speaks not a word, but folds her new delight
With a rapt silence, comforting as night;
So, when I felt the quickening life that came
To bid my life's long-slumbering currents move,
I set the seal of silence on your name,
And, for my love's sake, never told my love.

by Arthur Symons.

How many of the body's health complain,
When they some deeper malady conceal;
Some unrest of the soul, some secret pain,
Which thus its presence doth to them reveal.
Vain would we seek, by the physician's aid,
A name for this soul-sickness e'er to find;
A remedy for health and strength decayed,
Whose cause and cure are wholly of the mind
To higher nature is the soul allied,
And restless seeks its being's Source to know;
Finding not health nor strength in aught beside;
How often vainly sought in things below,
Whether in sunny clime, or sacred stream,
Or plant of wondrous powers of which we dream!

by Jones Very.

Without Disguise

If I have erred in showing all my heart,
And lost your favour by a lack of pride;
If standing like a beggar at your side
With naked feet, I have forgot the art
Of those who bargain well in passion's mart,
And win the thing they want by what they hide;
Be mine the fault as mine the hope denied,
Be mine the lover's and the loser's part.

The sin, if sin it was, I do repent,
And take the penance on myself alone;
Yet after I have borne the punishment,
I shall not fear to stand before the throne
Of Love with open heart, and make this plea:
"At least I have not lied to her nor Thee!"

by Henry Van Dyke.

Secrecy Protested.

FEAR not, dear love, that I'll reveal
Those hours of pleasure we two steal ;
No eye shall see, nor yet the sun
Descry, what thou and I have done.
No ear shall hear our love, but we
Silent as the night will be ;
The god of love himself (whose dart
Did first wound mine and then thy heart),
Shall never know that we can tell
What sweets in stol'n embraces dwell.
This only means may find it out ;
If, when I die, physicians doubt
What caused my death, and there to view
Of all their judgements which was true,
Rip up my heart, oh ! then, I fear,
The world will see thy picture there.

by Thomas Carew.

Not solitarily in fields we find
Earth's secret open, though one page is there;
Her plainest, such as children spell, and share
With bird and beast; raised letters for the blind.
Not where the troubled passions toss the mind,
In turbid cities, can the key be bare.
It hangs for those who hither thither fare,
Close interthreading nature with our kind.
They, hearing History speak, of what men were,
And have become, are wise. The gain is great
In vision and solidity; it lives.
Yet at a thought of life apart from her,
Solidity and vision lose their state,
For Earth, that gives the milk, the spirit gives.

by George Meredith.

That which he did not feel, he would not sing;
What most he felt, religion it was to hide
In a dumb darkling grotto, where the spring
Of tremulous tears, arising unespied,
Became a holy well that durst not glide
Into the day with moil or murmuring;
Whereto, as if to some unlawful thing,
He sto]e, musing or praying at its side.

But in the sun he sang with cheerful heart,
Of coloured season and the whirling sphere,
Warm household habitude and human mirth,
The whole faith-blooded mystery of earth;
And I, who had his secret, still could hear
The grotto's whisper low through every part.

by William Allingham.

Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Xlvi

Not so my little sponsor. She, with eyes
Proudly unconscious of my fool's display,
Talked volubly to all and scorned disguise,
While Madame Blanche herself, no less than they,
Smiled us a welcome, and with upraised hands
Disclaimed excuse and led us straightway through
To an inner room as to a Conference.
There I first saw to my amazement new
That fair white mystery, a woman's dress,
And heard its language spoken. Stuffs were brought
And cards unrolled before us, braids and lace
Lauded and handled and their merits taught
To ears that listened and to eyes that saw
Their secret sense, the law within the law.

by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt.

Mystery Of Mysteries

BEFORE the abyss of the unanswering grave
Each mortal stands at last aloof, alone,
With his beloved one turned as deaf as stone,
However rebel love may storm and rave.
No will, however strong, avails to save
The wrecked identity knit to our own;
We may not hoard one treasured look or tone,
Dissolved in foam on Death's dissolving wave.

Is this the End? This handful of brown earth
For all releasing elements to take
And free for ever from the bonds of birth?
Or will true life from Life's disguises break,
Called to that vast confederacy of minds
Which casts all flesh as chaff to all the winds?

by Mathilde Blind.

How Many Of The Body's Health Complain,

HOW many of the body's health complain,
When they some deeper malady conceal;
Some unrest of the souled, some secret pain,
Which thus its presence doth to them reveal.
Vain would we seek, by the physician's aid,
A name for this soul-sickness e'er to find;
A remedy for health and strength decayed,
Whose cause and cure are wholly of the mind
To higher nature is the soul allied,
And restless seeks its being's Source to know;
Finding not health nor strength in aught beside;
How often vainly sought in things below,
Whether in sunny clime, or sacred stream,
Or plant of wondrous powers of which we dream!

by Jones Very.

In youth, when blood was warm and fancy high,
I mocked at death. How many a quaint conceit
I wove about his veiled head and feet,
Vaunting aloud, Why need we dread to die?
But now, enthralled by deep solemnity,
Death's pale phantasmal shade I darkly greet:
Ghostlike it haunts the hearth, it haunts the street,
Or drearier makes drear midnight's mystery.
Ah, soul-perplexing vision! oft I deem
That antique myth is true which pictured death
A masked and hideous form all shrank to see;
But at the last slow ebb of mortal breath,
Death, his mask melting like a nightmare dream,
Smiled,—heaven's high-priest of Immortality!

by Paul Hamilton Hayne.

Sonnet Xlv: Secret Parting

Because our talk was of the cloud-control
And moon-track of the journeying face of Fate,
Her tremulous kisses faltered at love's gate
And her eyes dreamed against a distant goal:
But soon, remembering her how brief the whole
Of joy, which its own hours annihilate,
Her set gaze gathered, thirstier than of late,
And as she kissed, her mouth became her soul.
Thence in what ways we wandered, and how strove
To build with fire-tried vows the piteous home
Which memory haunts and whither sleep may roam,—
They only know for whom the roof of Love
Is the still-seated secret of the grove,
Nor spire may rise nor bell be heard therefrom.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Voices Of Earth

We have not heard the music of the spheres,
The song of star to star, but there are sounds
More deep than human joy and human tears,
That Nature uses in her common rounds;
The fall of streams, the cry of winds that strain
The oak, the roaring of the sea's surge, might
Of thunder breaking afar off, or rain
That falls by minutes in the summer night.
These are the voices of earth's secret soul,
Uttering the mystery from which she came.
To him who hears them grief beyond control,
Or joy inscrutable without a name,
Wakes in his heart thoughts bedded there, impearled,
Before the birth and making of the world.

by Archibald Lampman.

IF I should tell you what I know
Of where the first primroses grow,
Betray the secrets of the lily,
Bring crocus-gold and daffodilly,
Would you tell me if charm there be
To win a maiden, willy-nilly?

I lie upon the fragrant heath,
Kin to the beating heart beneath;
The nesting plover I discover
Nor stir the scented screen above her,
Yet am I blind--I cannot find
What turns a maiden to her lover!

Through all the mysteries of May,
Initiate, I take my way--
Sure as the blithest lark or linnet
To touch the pulsing soul within it--
Yet with no art to reach Her heart,
Nor skill to teach me how to win it!

by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay.

Psalm 139 Part 3

Sincerity professed, and grace tried; or, The heart-searching God.

My God, what inward grief I feel
When impious men transgress thy will!
I mourn to hear their lips profane
Take thy tremendous name in vain.

Does not my soul detest and hate
The sons of malice and deceit?
Those that oppose thy laws and thee,
I count them enemies to me.

Lord, search my soul, try every thought;
Though my own heart accuse me not
Of walking in a false disguise,
I beg the trial of thine eyes.

Doth secret mischief lurk within?
Do I indulge some unknown sin?
O turn my feet whene'er I stray,
And lead me in thy perfect way.

by Isaac Watts.

Who Hath Ears To Hear Let Him Hear

The sun doth not the hidden place reveal,
Whence pours at morn his golden flood of light;
But what the night's dark breast would fain conceal,
In its true colors walks before our sight;
The bird does not betray the secret springs,
Whence note on note her music sweetly pours;
Yet turns the ear attentive while she sings,
The willing heart while falls the strain adores;
So shall the spirit tell not whence its birth,
But in its light thine untold deeds lay bare;
And while it walks with thee flesh-clothed the earth,
Its words shall of the Father's love declare;
And happy those whose ears shall hail its voice,
And clean within the day it gives rejoice.

by Jones Very.

Psalm 32 Part 2

A guilty conscience eased by confession and pardon.

While I keep silence, and conceal
My heavy guilt within my heart,
What torments doth my conscience feel!
What agonies of inward smart!

I spread my sins before the Lord,
And all my secret faults confess;
Thy gospel speaks a pard'ning word,
Thine Holy Spirit seals the grace.

For this shall every humble soul
Make swift addresses to thy seat;
When floods of huge temptations roll,
There shall they find a bless'd retreat.

How safe beneath thy wings I lie,
When days grow dark and storms appear;
And when I walk, thy watchful eye
Shall guide me safe from every snare.

by Isaac Watts.

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