Veiled [poem by Marie E. J. Pitt]

[Editor: This poem by Marie E. J. Pitt was published in The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses (1911).]


Sojourner of the peaks divine
No gusts of human folly sweep,
Fenced from the shadow and the shine
That dapple Life’s disastrous deep!
Hushed is the world-heart’s stormy beat,
Earth’s clanging discords faint and fail
In holy silence round thy feet,
O Sister of the sombre veil!

To steadfast eyes undimmed of tears,
And lips that have no boon to crave
From largess of the laughing years
That flit like shadows to the grave,
Rise there no ghosts of “Used to be”
To mock the quest of Holy Grail
By guarded glance and suppliant knee?
O Sister of the sombre veil!

Noon glooms to dusk — the desert days
Slip slow by prayer-enchanted leas —
Pale pilots of the parted ways,
Wan warders of the Silent Keys!
In catacombs of twilit years,
What fear-forms frighted Passion pale?
Or Jesus’ cross or Mary’s tears?
O Sister of the sombre veil!

O Woman, is thy smile a mask?
Life cries for more than bread to eat;
“The daily round, the common task,”
Are these beatitude complete?
If faith be first I stand aghast
In outer dark beyond the pale
Of thine, the first faith and the last —
O Sister of the sombre veil!

Marie E. J. Pitt, The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses, Melbourne: Specialty Press, 1911, pages 10-11

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