O beautiful, bountiful, mighty mother,
Mother of man who owes thee breath,
Beloved, and hated, for thou, no other
But thou, art mother of pain and death.
Man's heavenly home, yet harbour, and haven,
To Sin, and Sorrow, and Shame, thy paven
Beautiful floral floors, the Raven
Shadows, and ever they perisheth.
Though art fire, and snow, and light, and darkness,
Thou art joy, and sorrow, and balm, and bain,
Thou art living beauty, and death-cold starkness,
At once a curse, and a glorious gain.
O wert thou, Mother, by a higher Consistory
Tried, what strange, wild, wonderful history
Would'st thou reveal, for man, thy mystery,
Is not of thee, O Mother of Pain.
We are not of thee, nor of matter's measure,
Though sons of thee, and solely thine.
As men of flesh, for at spirit's pleasure
We drink thy marvellous mingled wine.
We are not of thee, though thine, and this is
Why, O Mother, we hate thy kisses,
Hate, yet love, thy divided blisses,
And taste them yearning for things divine.