The blessed Damozel lean'd out From the gold bar of Heaven; Her eyes knew more of rest and shade Than waters still'd at even; She had three lilies in her hand, And the stars in her hair were seven. Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem, No wrought flowers did adorn, But a white rose of Mary's gift, For service meetly worn; And her hair lying down her back Was yellow like ripe corn. Her seem'd she scarce had been a day One of God's choristers; The wonder was not yet quite gone From that still look of hers; Albeit, to them she left, her day Had counted as ten years. (To one, it is ten years of years. . . . . . . . Yet now, and in this place, Surely she lean'd o'er me--her hair Fell all about my face . . . . . . . . Nothing: the autumn fall of leaves. The whole year sets apace.) It was the rampart of God's house That she was standing on; By God built over the sheer depth The which is Space begun; So high, that looking downward thence She scarce could see the sun. It lies in Heaven, across the flood Of ether, as a bridge. Beneath, the tides of day and night With flame and blackness ridge The void, as low as where this earth Spins like a fretful midge. She scarcely heard her sweet new friends: Playing at holy games, Softly they spake among themselves Their virginal chaste names; And the souls, mounting up to God, Went by her like thin flames. page 714 And still she bow'd above the vast Waste sea of worlds that swarm; Until her bosom must have made The bar she lean'd on warm, And the lilies lay as if asleep Along her bended arm. From the fix'd place of Heaven, she saw Time like a pulse shake fierce Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove Within the gulf to pierce Its path; and now she spoke, as when The stars sung in their spheres. The sun was gone now. The curl'd moon Was like a little feather Fluttering far down the gulf. And now She spoke through the still weather. Her voice was like the voice the stars Had when they sung together. I wish that he were come to me, For he will come, she said. Have I not pray'd in Heaven?--on earth, Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd? Are not two prayers a perfect strength? And shall I feel afraid? When round his head the aureole clings, And he is clothed in white, I'll take his hand and go with him To the deep wells of light, And we will step down as to a stream, And bathe there in God's sight. We two will stand beside that shrine, Occult, withheld, untrod, Whose lamps are stirr'd continually With prayers sent up to God; And see our old prayers, granted, melt Each like a little cloud. We two will lie i' the shadow of That living mystic tree, Within whose secret growth the Dove Is sometimes felt to be, While every leaf that His plumes touch Saith His Name audibly. And I myself will teach to him, I myself, lying so, The songs I sing here; which his voice Shall pause in, hush'd and slow, And find some knowledge at each pause, Or some new thing to know.