Carpenter, Edward - from By the Shore
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Edward Carpenter – from By the Shore
Suddenly I am the great living Ocean itself – the awful
Spirit of immensity creeps over my face
I am in love with it. All night and ages and ages long
and for myself I pour my soul out to it in love.
I spread myself out broader and broader and broader for ever, that
I may touch it and be with it everywhere.
There is no end. But ever and anon it maddens me
with its touch. I arise and sweep away my bounds
I know but I do not care any longer which my own
particular body is – all conditions and fortunes are mine
By the ever beautiful coast line of human life, by all
shores, in all climates and countries, by every secluded nook and inlet
Under the eye of my beloved Spirit I glide;
O joy! For ever, ever, joy!
I am not hurried – the whole of eternity is mine;
With each one I delay, with each one I dwell – with you
The warm breath of each life ascends past me;
I take the thread from the fingers that are weary, and
go on with the work;
The secretest thoughts of all are mine, and mine are
the secretest thoughts of all.
All night by the shore;
And the fresh air comes blowing with the dawn.
The mystic night fades – but my joy fades not.
I arise and cast a stone into the water (O sea of faces
I cast this poem among you) – and turn landward
over the rustling beach