Davidson, Lucretia Maria - The Vision
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Vision - Poem by Lucretia Maria Davidson
(Written in her fifteenth year.)
'T was evening — all was calm and silent, save
The low hoarse dashing of the distant wave;
The whip-poor-will had clos'd his pensive lay,
Which sweetly mourned the sun's declining ray;
Tired of a world surcharged with pain and woe,
Weary of heartless forms and all below,
Broken each tie, bereft of every friend,
Whose sympathy might consolation lend,
And musing on each vain and earthly toy,
Walk'd the once gay and still brave Oleroy.
Thus lost in thought, unconsciously he stray'd,
When a dark forest wild around him laid.
In vain he tried the beaten path to gain,
He sought it earnestly, but sought in vain;
At length o'ercome, he sunk upon the ground,
Where the dark ivy twined its branches round;
Sudden there rose upon his wond'ring ear,
Notes which e'en angels might delighted hear.
Now low they murnmr, now majestic rise,
As though 'some spirit banished froth the skies'
Had there repair'd to tune the mournful lay,
'And chase the sorrows of his soul away.'
They ceas'd — when lo! a brilliant dazzling light
Illumed the wood and chas'd the shades of night;
He raised his head, there stood near Oleroy,
The beauteous figure of a smiling boy;
Across his shoulder hung an ivory horn,
With jewels glittering like the rays of morn;
In his white hand he held the tuneful lyre,
And in his eyes there beam'd a heavenly fire;
Approaching Oleroy, he smiling cried,
You hate the world and all its charms deride,
You hate the world and all it doth contain,
Condemn each joy, and call each pleasure pain;
Then come, he sweetly cried, come follow me,
Another world thy sorrowing eyes shall see.
No sooner said than swift the smiling boy
Led from the bower the wond'ring Oleroy.
Beneath a tree three sylph-like forms recline,
Each form was beauteous, and each face benign;
Beside them stood a chariot dazzling bright,
Yoked with two beauteous swans of purest white;
They mount the chariot, and ascend on high,
They bend the lash, on winged winds they fly,
Above the spacious globe they stretch their flight,
That globe seem'd now but as a cloud of night.
Swift towards the moon the white swans bend their way,
And a new world its treasures doth display.
They halt; before them rocks and hills are spread,
And birds, and beasts, which at their footsteps fled.
Another moon emits a softer ray,
And other moon-beams on the waters play:
They wander on, and reach a darksome cave
Against whose side loud roars the dashing wave:
These words upon its rugged front appear,
'What in your world is lost is treasured here.'
They enter; — round upon the floor are strewn,
The ivory sceptre, and the glittering crown;
Unnumbered hopes there flutter'd on the wing,
There were the lays discarded lovers sing;
There fame her trumpet blew, long, loud, and clear,
Worlds tremble as the deaf'ning notes they hear;
There brooded riches o'er his lifeless heap,
There were the tears which misery's children weep.
There were posthumous alms, and misspent time
Lost in a jingling mass of foolish rhyme.
There was the conscience of the miser; — there
The tears of love, — the pity of the fair;
There, pointing, cried the sylph-like smiling boy,
There's the content which fled you, Oleroy!
Regain it if you can; — then far away,
And reach your world before the dawn of day.