Mandragora/Veni Creator Spiritus

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For works with similar titles, see Veni Creator Spiritus.
Veni Creator Spiritus
by John Cowper Powys

Published in Mandragora (1917)

VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS


MY strength is shifting sand; the waters
Of jealousy meet over my head;
I am scorned and scourged by Satan's daughters;
   And crucified on a salt sea bed.
I have prayed to the gods. Oh, little the use!
   Thou, greater than God, descend on me.
   Thou breath of the deep world, set me free.
   Blow from your primal eternity.
           Veni Creator Spiritus!

My strength is trodden dust. The claw
   Of envy tears me day and night,
And the tawny lion of "Nevermore"
   Eats my heart for his delight.
Oh, calm cool breath, your floodgates loose!
   Oh, breath of the deep world, set me free.
   Oh, greater than God, descend on me.
   Blow from your primal eternity.
           Veni Creator Spiritus!

My strength is the dregs of poured-out wine.
   The dry ground drinks me. The poison-flower
Grows fat with me. The root malign
   Of the night-shade waits its baleful hour.
Life is too bitter. "I could not choose
   But weep to see another thus."
   O breath from beyond the land and sea,
   O calm and cool eternity.
           Veni Creator Spiritus!

My strength is smouldering ashes. The molten stream
   Of love consumes me; all day and night I waste
Burning from fever-dream to fever-dream,
   My parched mouth full of the dead-sea taste.
O air, O breath, give what the gods refuse!
   O depths beyond all depths, have pity on me!
   O space beyond all spaces, set me free.
   Blow from your calm and cool eternity.
           Veni Creator Spiritus!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.


The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.