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After This The Judgement

by Christina Rossetti
As eager homebound traveller to the goal,
  Or steadfast seeker on an unsearched main,
Or martyr panting for an aureole,
  My fellow-pilgrims pass me, and attain
That hidden mansion of perpetual peace
  Where keen desire and hope dwell free from pain:
That gate stands open of perennial ease;
  I view the glory till I partly long,
Yet lack the fire of love which quickens these.
  O passing Angel, speed me with a song,
A melody of heaven to reach my heart
  And rouse me to the race and make me strong;
Till in such music I take up my part
  Swelling those Hallelujahs full of rest,
One, tenfold, hundredfold, with heavenly art,
  Fulfilling north and south and east and west,
Thousand, ten thousandfold, innumerable,
  All blent in one yet each one manifest;
Each one distinguished and beloved as well
  As if no second voice in earth or heaven
Were lifted up the Love of God to tell.
  Ah, Love of God, which Thine own Self hast given
To me most poor, and made me rich in love,
  Love that dost pass the tenfold seven times seven,
Draw Thou mine eyes, draw Thou my heart above,
  My treasure ad my heart store Thou in Thee,
Brood over me with yearnings of a dove;
  Be Husband, Brother, closest Friend to me;
Love me as very mother loves her son,
  Her sucking firstborn fondled on her knee:
Yea, more than mother loves her little one;
  For, earthly, even a mother may forget
And feel no pity for its piteous moan;
  But thou, O Love of God, remember yet,
Through the dry desert, through the waterflood
  (Life, death) until the Great White Throne is set.
If now I am sick in chewing the bitter cud
  Of sweet past sin, though solaced by Thy grace
And ofttimes strengthened by Thy Flesh and Blood,
  How shall I then stand up before Thy face
When from Thine eyes repentance shall be hid
  And utmost Justice stand in Mercy's place:
When every sin I thought or spoke or did
  Shall meet me at the inexorable bar,
And there be no man standing in the mid
  To plead for me; while star fallen after star
With heaven and earth are like a ripened shock,
  And all time's mighty works and wonders are
Consumed as in a moment; when no rock
  Remains to fall on me, no tree to hide,
But I stand all creation's gazing-stock
  Exposed and comfortless on every side,
Placed trembling in the final balances
  Whose poise this hour, this moment, must be tried?—
Ah Love of God, if greater love than this
  Hath no man, that a man die for his friend,
And if such love of love Thine Own Love is,
  Plead with Thyself, with me, before the end;
Redeem me from the irrevocable past;
  Pitch Thou Thy Presence round me to defend;
Yea seek with piercèd feet, yea hold me fast
  With piercèd hands whose wounds were made by love;
Not what I am, remember what Thou wast
  When darkness hid from Thee Thy heavens above,
And sin Thy Father's Face, while thou didst drink
  The bitter cup of death, didst taste thereof
For every man; while Thou wast nigh to sink
  Beneath the intense intolerable rod,
Grown sick of love; not what I am, but think
  Thy Life then ransomed mine, my God, my God.

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