It thus befell me on a day
When gladsome was the month of May,
I sat alone in pleasant thought
Beside the fish-pond in the court;
Above me spread the lindens tall,
And deep-blue heavens were over all,
How dear is that old court to me!
So sunny, still, and fair to see—
The water flowing clear and bright,
And many a tree with blossoms dight,
And singing birds, and doves that fly
All white across the summer sky;
And there, of all delights the best,
The blessed stillness and the rest.
Then thought I, “All is fair and sweet—
What need I more in my retreat,
In sooth that this still hour may be
As dew from Heaven that falls on me?
So were it, if there came from Heaven
A faithful friend and dear,
Whose words should be a dew to me
Of comfort and of cheer.
Then I should grow as lilies sweet
That in God’s garden are,
Whose strange and wondrous odours greet
Some wandering soul afar.”
Then answered, ere I was aware,
The Voice beloved and true—
The blessed Friend from Heaven was there,
My Sunshine and my Dew;
The Fountain for the souls that thirst,
The cup that runneth o’er—
The Lord Who gives the longing first,
Then stills it evermore—
He told me of the River bright
That flows from Him to me,
That I might be for His delight
A fair and fruitful tree.
He told me that as doves that rise
Far through the golden light,
So He would lead me through the skies
In raiment pure and white.
That as the still fair court to me
Afar from strife and din,
So unto Him my heart should be,
And He would rest therein.
And when the evening shadows fell,
And all was silent in my cell,
And on my knees I knelt and prayed
To Him Who is my Sun and Shade,
There came to me that saying deep,
“Who loveth Me, My words will keep.
And him My Father loveth well,
And We will come with him to dwell.”
Yea, Lord, through Thy most precious Blood,
Am I the resting-place of God.
|First Line:||It thus befell me on a day|
|Author:||Gertrude of Hellfde|
|Translator:||Emma Frances Bevan (1899)|