by: Edward Dowden (1843-1913)

      SPIN, I spin, around, around,
      And close my eyes,
      And let the bile arise
      From the sacred region of the soul’s Profound;
      Then gaze upon the world; how strange! how new!
      The earth and heaven are one,
      The horizon-line is gone,
      The sky how green! the land how fair and blue!
      Perplexing items fade from my large view,
      And thought which vexed me with its false and true
      Is swallowed up in Intuition; this,
      This is the sole true mode
      Of reaching God,
      And gaining the universal synthesis
      Which makes All--One; while fools with peering eyes
      Dissect, divide, and vainly analyse.
      So round, and round, and round again!
      How the whole globe swells within my brain,
      The stars inside my lids appear,
      The murmur of the spheres I hear
      Throbbing and beating in each ear;
      Right in my navel I can feel
      The centre of the world’s great wheel.
      Ah peace divine, bliss dear and deep,
      No stay, no stop,
      Like any top
      Whirling with swiftest speed, I sleep.
      O ye devout ones round me coming,
      Listen! I think that I am humming;
      No utterance of the servile mind
      With poor chop-logic rules agreeing
      Here shall ye find,
      But inarticulate burr of man’s unsundered being.
      Ah, could we but devise some plan,
      Some patent jack by which a man
      Might hold himself ever in harmony
      With the great whole, and spin perpetually,
      As all things spin
      Without, within,
      As Time spins off into Eternity,
      And Space into the inane Immensity,
      And the Finite into God’s Infinity,
      Spin, spin, spin, spin.

"The Secret of the Universe" is reprinted from The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. Ed. Nicholson & Lee. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1917.




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