Repentance

By George Sterling

How shall I face thy soul?—I, dumb and blind
    Before the holy beauty of thy face!
    Stand back from me! Have mercy for a space,
Lest madness break thine image in my mind!
For now I reach, who never dreamt to find,
    The ineffable, the utmost shrine of grace,
    Ere Time of all my worship leave no trace,
And this my heart be dust upon the wind.

Thy mercy for a while! This voice to thee
    Is out of darkness and unhallowed years.
        How shall my fire against thy snows be set?
I call as tho, to love that could not be,
    A fallen seraph wrote in his own tears
        His hopeless tale of heavenly regret.

Written in Sag Harbor

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