My spirit, thirsting, wandered lost
The grim and barren desert sand,
And where two ancient pathways crossed
I saw a six-winged seraph stand.
With touch as light as sleep or sighs
His fingers brushed my burning eyes,
And they beheld strange visions blaze
As if with startled eagle’s gaze.
He gently touched my stricken ears---
And roused the sounds of distant spheres:
I heard the trembling heavens weep,
The monsters moving through the deep,
The flights of angels in the skies,
The sap in valley vineyards rise.
Then bending to my mouth he ripped
The sinful tongue from out my lips
And all its vain and cunning talk;
And on the mute and lifeless stalk,
His right hand steeped in blood, he flung
A serpent’s wise and double tongue.
With sword he clove my breast in two.
And thence my beating heart withdrew,
And thrust inside the gaping hole
A flaming shard of living coal.
I lay like death upon the sand
And heard the Voice of God command:
“Arise, O prophet! Heed My Will;
Proclaim what thou hast seen and heard.
On sea and land thy task fulfill:
To burn men’s hearts with Heaven’s Word.”