In pursuit of amatory
adventure, hope bid me fly
and I rose so high, so hig
that I closed upon the quarry.
To achieve so great a height,
divine adventure pursuing,
I flew so far that the doing
lifted me clear beyond sight.
A flight so extraordinary
rendered me too faint to fly:
It was love drew me so high
that I closed upon the quarry.

As I rose up high and higher”
my divine prey still uncaught”
weary and heartsick, I thought,
fallen from my one desire,
“All such attempts must miscarry.”
So cast down by this was I
that I rose up high, up high,
until I closed on the quarry.

Somehow I contrived to go
a thousandfold by once reaching:
heaven grants to the beseeching
what they earn through hope. For no
prize but this prey would I tarry,
and hope raised me by and by,
until I was high, so high
that I closed upon the quarry.

Articles by St. John of the Cross, translated by Rhina P. Espaillat

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