The Home of the Soul

Full Text

The mind saith to the soul—
“In the glory of God no foot hath trod;
A devouring Fire dread to see;
In the blinding light of the face of God
No soul can be.
For thou knowest that all high Heaven is bright
With a glory beyond the sun,
With the radiance of the saints in light,
And the fount of that Light is one.
From the breath of the everlasting God,
From the mouth of the Man Divine,
From the counsel of God the Holy Ghost
Doth that awful glory shine.
Soul, couldst thou abide for an hour alone
In the burning fire around His throne?”

And the soul makes answer—

The fish drowns not in the mighty sea,
The bird sinks not in the air,
The gold in the furnace fire may be,
And is yet more radiant there.
For God to each of His creatures gave
The place to its nature known;
And shall it not be that my heart should crave
For that which is mine own?
For my nature seeketh her dwelling-place,
That only, and none other;
The child must joy in the Father’s face,
The brethren in the Brother.
To the bridal chamber goeth the bride,
For love is her home and rest;
And shall not I in His light abide,
When I lean upon His breast?
* * * * *
And she who is beloved with love untold,
Thus goes to Him Who is divinely fair,
In His still Chamber of unsullied gold,
And love all pure, all holy, greets her there—
The love of His eternal Godhead high,
The love of His divine Humanity.
Then speaketh He and saith, “Beloved one,
What wouldst thou? It is thine.
From self shalt thou go forth for evermore,
For thou art Mine.
O soul! no angel for an hour might dream
Of all the riches that I give to thee;
The glory and the beauty that beseem
The heritage of life that is in Me.
Yet satisfied, thou shalt for ever long,
So sweeter shall be thine eternal song.”
O Lord my God, so small, so poor am I,
And great, Almighty, O my God, art Thou!
“Yet art thou joined to Christ eternally,
My love a changeless everlasting NOW.”
And thus the joyful soul is still
At rest in God’s eternal will;
And she is His, and thus delighteth He
Her own to be.

Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899

Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg

Mechthild of Helfta, or Mathilde in modern spelling, was a mystic author who lived in the Cisterian nunnery at Helfta near Eisleben, Germany. She is also known as Mechthild of Hackeborn, her parents' home. She was a younger sister of St. Gerturde of Hackeborn. She is mentioned in Bocaccio's Decameron, VII, 1, and in canto 28 of Dante's Purgatory. Cf. "Liber specialis gratiae" in Revelations Gertrudianae ac Mechtildianae (1877). Her "Liber specialis gratiae" was popular in England and was translated into English in the fifteenth century. More recently it has been edited by Theresa A. Halligan as The Booke of Gostlye Grace of Mechtild of Hackeborn (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1979). --Leonard Ellinwood, DNAH Arch… Go to person page >

Translator: Frances Bevan

Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856. Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: The mind saith to the soul
Title: The Home of the Soul
Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Author: Mechthild, of Magdeburg
Language: English



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