Unending thoughts of cindered, coiling smoke,
And knot by knot entwined, earth’s incense flung,
Soon spent, and served but to provoke
More fire-heaped ashes, flames without a song.
With shafts of bitterest cross-wood, Lord,
Enkindle holy flames within this writhing dust.
With lightening-strokes from Sinai’s anvil clouds
Consume earth and hell’s rootworms as Thou must.
Then after fire, the cleansing of Thy Word,
And molded, tender seedlings, Thy desires,
Which spring alone from what in You is heard,
My steps then kept on heaven’s unseen stairs,
Will all my thoughts ascend from sacred incense fire.