I made a far journey Earth’s fair cities to view, but like to love’s city City none I knew At the first I knew not That city’s worth, And turned in my folly A wanderer on earth. From so sweet a country I must needs pass, And like to cattle Grazed on every grass. As Moses’ people I would liefer eat Garlic, than manna And celestial meat. What voice in this world to my ear has come Save the voice of love Was a tapped drum. Yet for that drum-tap From the world of All Into this perishing Land I did fall. That world a lone spirit Inhabiting. Like a snake I crept Without foot or wing. The wine that was laughter And grace to sip Like a rose I tasted Without throat or lip. ‘Spirit, go a journey,’ Love’s voice said: ‘Lo, a home of travail I have made.’ Much, much I cried: ‘I will not go’; Yea, and rent my raiment And made great woe. Even as now I shrink To be gone from here, Even so thence To part I did fear. ‘Spirit, go thy way,’ Love called again, ‘And I shall be ever nigh thee As they neck’s vein.’ Much did love enchant me And made much guile; Love’s guile and enchantment Capture me the while. In ignorance and folly When my wings I spread, From palace unto prison I was swiftly sped. Now I would tell How thither thou mayst come; But ah, my pen is broke And I am dumb.

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