Breathe me the ancient words when I shall find
Your spirit mine; if, seeking you, life wins
New wonder, with old splendor let us bind
Our hearts when Love’s high sacrament begins.
Exalt my soul with pomp and pageantry,
Sing the eternal songs all lovers sing;
Yea, when you come, gold let our vestments be,
And lamps of silver let us softly swing.
But if at last, (hark how I whisper, Love!)
You from my temple and from me should turn,
I pray you chant no psalm my grief above,
Over the body of Pain let no light burn.
Go forth in silence, quiet as a dove,
Drift, with no sign, from our exultant place;
We need no Ite at the death of Love,
And none should come to look on Love’s white face.
Charles Hanson Towne, 1877-1949