The Lost Disciple

O Master, I can not adventure with thee; 
  At the Door of the Dawn, in my lone wandering, 
I have broken my staff; for the true dawn is she 
  Who comes every day with her jar to the spring. 

Ay, Master, I tarried last night at the gate
   Of her garden, which kisses the Lake Galilee; 
She was gathering flowers and fruits for the Fete, 
   And with tulips and poppies she beckoned to me. 

In her lamp there was oil, in my hand there was fire; 
   In her house cried a voice, ‘O make haste with the flame!’
On my lips were the names of the daughters of Tyre, 
   On her breast were the lilies that whispered thy name. 

I have dared, O my Master, to envy thy feet, 
   And to yearn for the love of a Magdalen fair; 
I have dreamed that mine, too, in the heart of the street, 
   Were laved with her own hands and dried with her hair. 

O Master, my lips her devotion have stained, 
  For her soul’s precious ointments were offered late; 
I have lost in the fire of my lust what I gained 
   In my longing and love for her love and thy fate. 

From A Chant of Mystics (James T. White & Co., 1921) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.