Set Me on Fire

by Mechthild of Magdeburg


Original Language German

O soaring eagle! darling lamb!
O glowing spark! Set me on fire!
How long must I endure this thirst?
One hour is already too long,
A day is as a thousand years
When Thou art absent!
Should this continue for eight days
I would rather go down to Hell
(Where indeed I already am!)
Than that God should hide Himself
From the loving soul;
For that were anguish greater than human death,
Pain beyond all pain, The nightingale muse ever sing
Because its nature is love;
Whoso would take that from it
Would brink in death,
     Ah! Mighty Lord! Look on my need!

-- from The Mystic in Love: A Treasury of Mystical Poetry, Edited by Shelley Gross

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Recommended Books: Mechthild of Magdeburg

Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry German Mystical Writings: Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme, and others The Mystic in Love: A Treasury of Mystical Poetry
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Set Me on Fire