Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

R. W. Dixon, fully Richard Watson Dixon

English Poet and Divine

"THERE is a soul above the soul of each, A mightier soul, which yet to each belongs: There is a sound made of all human speech, And numerous as the concourse of all songs: And in that soul lives each, in each that soul, Though all the ages are its lifetime vast; Each soul that dies, in its most sacred whole Receiveth life that shall forever last. And thus forever with a wider span Humanity o’erarches time and death; Man can elect the universal man, And live in life that ends not with his breath: And gather glory that increase still Till Time his glass with Death’s last dust shall fill. "

"Ah, what is this, that now with sated eyes And humming ears the soul no more descries? Drawn back upon the spirit all the sense Becomes intelligence; And to be doubly now unfolded feels That which itself reveals; Double the world of all that may appear To eye or hand or ear; Double the soul of that which apprehends By that which sense transcends."

"And being such the soul doth recognize The doubleness of nature, that there lies A soul occult in Nature, hidden deep As lies the soul of man in moveless sleep. And like a dream Broken in circumstance and foolish made, Through which howe’er the future world doth gleam, And floats a warning to the gathered thought, Like to a dream, Through sense and all by sense conveyed, Into our soul the shadow of that soul Doth float. Then are we lifted up erect and whole In vast confession to that universe Perceived by us: our soul itself transfers Thither by instinct sure; it swiftly hails The mighty spirit similar; it sails In the divine expansion; it perceives Tendencies glorious, distant; it enweaves Itself with excitations more that thought Unto that soul unveiled and yet unsought."

"For deep the cave of human consciousness; The thoughts, like light, upon its depths may press, Seeking and finding wonders numberless; But never may they altogether pierce The hollow gloom so sensitive and fierce Of the deep bosom: far the light may reach, There is a depth unreached; in clearest speech There is an echo from an unknown place: And in the dim, unknown, untrodden space Our life is hidden; were we all self-known, No longer should we live; a wonder shown Is wonderful no more; and being flies For ever from its own self-scrutinies. Here is the very effort of the soul To keep itself unmingled, safe, and whole In changes and the flitting feints of sense: Here essence holds a calm and sure defence; It is a guarded shrine and sacred grove, A fountain hidden where no foot may rove, A further depth within a sounded sea; A mirror ’tis from hour to hour left free By things reflected: and because ’tis so, Therefore the outer world and all its show Is as the music of the upper wave To the deep Ocean in his sunken cave; A part of its own self, yet but its play, Which doth the sunbeam and the cloud convey To central deeps, where in awful shade The stormless heart receives the things conveyed, Knowing the cloud by darkness, and the light By splendours dying through the infinite."

"Ye winds and clouds of light, Ye lead the soul to God; The new-born soul that height With rapturous foot hath trod, And is received of God: God doth the soul receive Which mounts toward Him, and alone would dwell With Him; though finite with the Infinite, Though finite, rising with a might Like to infinitude. Gently receiving such He doth dispel All solitary horror with delight, Honouring the higher mood."

"For though the soul pants with fierce ecstasy The unattainable to grasp, to be For ever mingled with infinity; And this in vain, since God Himself withdraws From human knowledge, e’en as its own laws Seclude the soul from sense; Yet not from love He hies; From love God never flies. Love is the soul’s best sense, which God descries Which bares the covert of intelligence: And, honouring in love the higher mood, With lovely joys He fills the solitude Of His own presence, whither trusting Him The soul hath mounted: lo, it might have found Utter destruction on this higher ground, Tenuity of air and swooning dim For lack of breath; but now it finds hereby A lovely vesture of infinity, And ecstasies that nourish ecstasy. God giveth love to love, and ministers Substance to substance; life to life He bears."

"Broad breezes, clouds of light, Thither ye lead the soul, To this most sacred height Above the sacred whole: The azure world is not so fair, The azure world and all the circling air, As that true spiritual kingdom known Unto the spirit only and alone; Thither the soul ye bear, Oh winds and clouds of light. Ye winds and clouds of light, That bear the soul to God; The new-born soul that height By ecstasy hath trod."

"And ask again, Hast thou no right to joy? Take the most precious tones that thunder-struck thine ears In gentler days gone by: And if they yield no more the old ecstasy, Then give thyself to tears."

"HAST thou no right to joy, O youth grown old! who palest with the thought Of the measureless annoy, The pain and havoc wrought By Fate on man: and of the many men, The unfed, the untaught, Who groan beneath that adamantine chain Whose tightness kills, whose slackness whips the flow Of waves of futile woe: Hast thou no right to joy? Thou thinkest in thy mind In thee it were unkind To revel in the liquid Hyblian store, While more and more the horror and the shame, The pity and the woe grow more and more, Persistent still to claim The filling of thy mind."

"The feathers of the willow are half of them grown yellow above the swelling stream; and ragged are the bushes, and rusty now the rushes, and wild the clouded gleam."