Hilda Doolittle





Erige Cor Tuum Ad Me In Caelum

I
Lift up your eyes on high,
under the sky—
indeed?
watch planets swerve and lend
luster to partner-planet,
as they serve
magnetic stress and turn
subservient to your hands,
your will that guides
majestic cycle of obedient tides?

lift up our eyes to you?
no, God, we stare and stare,
upon a nearer thing
that greets us here,
Death, violent and near.

II
The alchemy and mystery is this,
no cross to kiss,
but a cross pointing on a compass-face,
east, west, south, north;

the secret of the ages is revealed,
the book un-sealed,
the fisherman entangled in his nets
felled where he waded
for the evening catch,
the house-door 
swinging on the broken latch,
the woman with her basket on the quay,
shading her eyes to see,
if the last boat
is the last,
the house-dog lost,
the little hen escaped,
the precious hay-rick scattered,
and the empty cage,
the book of life is open,
turn and read:

the linnet pecking at the wasted seed,
is holy ghost,
the weed
broken by iron axle,
is the flower
magicians bartered for.