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STANZAS6666For a verse translation in the metre of the original, see Vol. II.

Wherein the soul sings of the happy chance which it had in passing through the dark night of faith, in detachment and purgation of itself, to union with the Beloved.

1. On a dark night, Kindled6767[The adjectives are feminine throughout.] in love with yearnings — oh, happy chance! —

I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest.6868[The word translated ‘at rest’ is a past participle: more literally, ‘stilled.’]

2. In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised — oh, happy chance! —

In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

3. In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me,

Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart.

4. This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday,

To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me — A place where none appeared.

5. Oh, night that guided me, Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,

Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!

6. Upon my flowery breast, Kept wholly for himself alone,

There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him, And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.

7. The breeze blew from the turret As I parted his locks;

With his gentle hand he wounded my neck And caused all my senses to be suspended.

8. I remained, lost in oblivion;6969[Lit.: ‘I remained and forgot.’] My face I reclined on the Beloved.

All ceased and I abandoned myself, Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

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