Thursday, June 16, 2016

Earth's Crammed with Heaven

It's Spiritual Journey Thursday, so I'm sharing these bits from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I especially like the "lily-muffed hum of a summer bee" and the idea that even something so small is a reminder of the grandeur of our spinning universe and the one who created it. So much here to contemplate!

from "Earth's Crammed with Heaven"
(excerpt from Aurora Leigh, Book VII)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

....Natural things
and spiritual,--who separates those two
In art, in morals, or the social drift,
Tears up the bond of nature and brings death,
Paints futile pictures writes unreal verse,

...Without the spiritual, observe,
The natural's impossible;--no form,
No motion! Without sensuous, spiritual
Is inappreciable;--no beauty or power!
And in this twofold sphere the twofold man
(And still the artist is intensely a man)
Holds firmly by the natural, to reach
The spiritual beyond it,--fixes still
The type with mortal vision, to pierce through,
With eyes immortal, to the antitype
Some call the ideal,--better called the real...

...Nothing's small!
No lily-muffed hum of a summer-bee,
But finds some coupling with the spinning stars;
No pebble at your foot, but proves a sphere;
No chaffinch, but implies the cherubim:
And,--glancing on my own thin, veined wrist,--
In such a little tremor of the blood
The whole strong clamor of a vehement soul
Doth utter itself distinct. Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God:
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it, and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware
More and more, from the first similitude.

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