Sunday, 17 June 2018

The cherubic pilgrim - Johann Scheffler

The soul wherein God dwells, —
What church could holier be? —
Becomes a walking tent
Of heavenly majesty.

How far from here to Heaven?
Not very far, my friend,
A single hearty step
Will all thy journey end.

Though Christ a thousand times
In Bethlehem be born,
If He's not born in thee.
Thy soul is still forlorn.

The cross on Golgotha
Will never save thy soul.
The cross in thine own heart
Alone can make thee whole.

Hold there! where runnest thou?
Know Heaven is in thee.
Seek'st thou for God elsewhere,
His face thou'lt never see.

O, would thy heart but be
A manger for His birth;
God would once more become
A child upon the earth.

Go out, God will go in,
Die thou and let Him live.
Be not — and He will be.
Wait and He'll all things give.

O shame, a silk worm works
And spins till it can fly,
And thou, my soul, wilt still
On thine old earth-clod lie!

Johann Scheffler (Angelus Silesius) (c.1624 - 1677) Germany
Translator not given
Source: World's great religious poetry selected by Caroline Miles Hill, The Macmillan company, 1923

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