SONG OF THE MYSTIC
ABRAM J. RYAN
I walk down the Valley of Silence-
Down the dim, voiceless valley-alone!
And I hear not the fall of a footstep
Around me, save God's and my own;
And the hush of my heart is as holy
As hovers where angels have flown!
Long ago was I weary of voices
Whose music my heart could not win;
Long ago I was weary of noises
That fretted my soul with their din;
Long ago I was weary of places
Where I met but the human - and sin.
I walked in the world with the worldy;
I craved what the world never gave;
And I said: "In the world each Ideal,
That shines like a star on life's wave,
Is wrecked on the shores of the Real,
And sleeps like a dream in a grave."
And still did I pine for the Perfect,
And still found the False with the True;
I sought 'mid the Human for Heaven,
But caught a mere glimpse of its Blue;
And I wept when the clouds of the Mortal
Veiled even that glimpse from my view.
And I toiled on, heart-tired, of the Human,
And I moaned 'mid the mazes of men,
Till I knelt, long ago, at an altar
And I heard a voice call me. Since then
I walk down the Valley of Silence
That lies far beyond mortal ken.
Do you ask what I found in the Valley?
'Tis my Trysting Place with the Divine.
And I fell at the feet of the Holy,
And above me a voice said: "Be mine."
And there arose from the depths of my
An echo- "My heart shall be Thine."
Do you ask how I live in the Valley?
I weep- and I dream- and I pray.
But my tears are as sweet as the dewdrops
That fall on the roses in May;
And my prayer, like a perfume from censers,
Ascendeth to God night and day.
In the hush of the Valley of Silence
I dream all the songs that I sing;
And the music floats down the dim Valley,
Till each finds a word for a wing,
That to hearts, like the Dove of the
A message of peace they may bring.
But far on the deep there are billows
That shall never break on the beach;
and I have heard songs in the Silence
That never shall float into speech;
And I have had dreams in the Valley
Too lofty for language to reach.
And I have seen Thoughts in the Valley-
Ah! me, how my spirit was stirred!
And they wear holy veils on their faces,
Their footsteps can scarcely be heard;
They pass through the Valley like virgins,
Too pure for the touch of a word!
Do you ask me the place of the Valley,
Ye hearts that are harrowed by Care?
It lieth afar between mountains,
And God and His angels are there;
And one is the dark mount of Sorrow,
And one the bright mountain of Prayer.
-From a typed-copy from an out-of-print, public domain book. The
typed-copy was made for a reading that I gave in Public Speaking
class at the University of Detroit on March 2, 1967. - James A.