This joyless night, wherein I find
my own soul, black-walled, prisons me
in bars unbending; try, my soul,
from soul's own bonds to wrench thee free.
No hope before, no love behind,
no joy at all to cheer the brain;
or, if there be, I to it blind
know but this ever-present pain
self-rendered; blackness tangible.
Thine be the blackness, Thine the ache,
for in Thy flesh they were and are
tangible; then I will embrace them,
clutch the hands that hold the scar.
Thou art within the dark and pain;
then, from within, my crucible
Thou will embrace--me will embrace--
God's own embrace, intangible,
save as darkness and as pain
to us, us wretched ones, who mend
our own chains; us who see too well
to light and comfort comprehend.
And I shall laugh again, caressing
this my torment, this my pain;
clutching it closer, precious thing
that ever makes me Thine again;
wrenching my eyes from prison-walls
to spend this endless hour with Thee:
to seek the joy hid in Thy face
so deep, it looks like blood to me.