Littell's Living Age/Volume 145/Issue 1877/De Profundis

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Littell's Living Age by Alfred Tennyson
Volume 145, Issue 1877 : De Profundis
Originally published in Nineteenth Century.

De Profundis[edit]

Two Greetings

                         I.
Out of the deep, my child, out of the deep,
Where all that was. to be in all that was
Whirl'd for a million æons thro' the vast
Waste dawn of multitudinous-eddying light —
Out of the deep, my child, out of the deep,
Thro' all this changing world of changeless law,
And every phase of ever-heightening life,
And nine long months of antenatal gloom,
With this last moon, this crescent — her dark orb
Touch'd with earth's light — thou comest, darling boy;
Our own; a babe in lineament and limb
Perfect, and prophet of the perfect man;
Whose face and form are hers and mine in one,
Indissolubly married like our love;
Live and be happy in thyself, and serve
This mortal race thy kin so well that men
May bless thee as we bless thee, O young life
Breaking with laughter from the dark, and may
The fated channel where thy motion lives
Be prosperously shaped, and sway thy course
Along the years of haste and random youth
Unshatter'd, then full-current thro' full man,
And last in kindly curves, with gentlest fall,
By quiet fields, a slowly-dying power,
To that last deep where we and thou are still.


                         II.
                         1
Out of the deep, my child, out of the deep,
From that great deep before our world begins
Whereon the Spirit of God moves as he will —
Out of the deep, my child, out of the deep,
From that true world within the world we see,
Whereof our world is but the hounding shore —
Out of the deep, spirit, out of the deep,
With this ninth moon that sends the hidden sun
Down yon dark sea, thou comest, darling boy.

                         2
For in the world, which is not ours, they said
"Let us make man," and that which should be man,
From that one light no man can look upon,
Drew to this shore lit by the suns and moons
And all the shadows. O dear spirit half-lost
In thine own shadow and this fleshly sign
That thou art thou — who wailest being born
And banish'd into mystery, and the pain
Of this divisible-indivisible world
Among the numerable-innumerable
Sun, sun, and sun, thro' finite-infinite space
In finite-infinite time — our mortal veil
And shatter'd phantom of that infinite One,
Who made thee unconceivably thyself
Out of his whole world-self and all in all —
Live thou, and of the grain and husk, the grape
And ivyberry, choose; and still depart
From death to death thro' life and life, and find
Nearer and ever nearer Him who wrought
Not matter, nor the finite-infinite,
But this main miracle, that thou art thou,
With power on thine own act and on the world.


The Human Cry.

                         I.
Hallowed be thy name — Halleluiah! —
Infinite Ideality!
Immeasurable Reality!
Infinite Personality!
Hallowed be Thy name — Halleluiah!

                         II.
We feel we are nothing — for all is Thou and in Thee;
We feel we are something — that also has come from Thee;
We are nothing, O Thou — but thou wilt help us to be.
Hallowèd be thy name — Halleluiah!