Nox Oculis

Walter Leslie Wilmshurst (1866- ?)

Nox Nivosa

    Snowflakes downfloating from the void
    Upon my face,
    Spilth of the silent alchemy employed
    In deeps of space
    Where viewless everlasting fingers ply
    The power whose secret is the mystery
    That doth my world encase ;

    Power that with equal ease outshakes
    Yon architrave
    Of massy stars in heaven and these frail flakes
    Earth’s floor that pave ;
    Swings the flamed orbs with infinite time for dower
    And strews these velvet jewels not an hour
    Of sunshine that will brave ;

    Yet of whose clustered crystals none
    But speaks the act
    Of the hand that steers each ceaseless-wheeling sun
    And to whose tact
    Fire-wreath and spangled ice alike respond ;
    Thoughts from the void frozen to flower and frond,
    Divinely all compact ;
    Snowflakes, of pureness unalloyed,
    That in dark space
    Are built, and spilt from out the teeming void
    With prodigal grace,
    Air-quarried temples though you fall scarce-felt
    And all your delicate architecture melt
    To tears upon my face, --
    I too am such encrystalled breath
    In the void planned
    And bodied forth to surge of life and death ;
    And as I stand
    Beneath this sacramental spilth of snow,
    Crumbling, you whisper : ‘Fear thou not to go
    Back to the viewless hand ;
    "Thence to be moulded forth again
    Through time and space
    Till thy imperishable self attain
    Such strength and grace
    Through endless infinite refinement passed
    By the eternal Alchemist that at last
    Thou see Him face to face."

    Walter Leslie Wilmshurst, The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse (1917)

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