Evening Prayer III

I took too long to fall in love with you,
oh Beauty so ancient and new.
I took too long to fall in love with you!
But there you were, inside, and I was outside—
and it was there I searched for you,
And into those shapely things you created,
and my misshapen self went sliding.
You were there with me, but I wasn’t with you.
Those things, which wouldn’t exist unless
they existed in you, held me back, far away from you.

You called, you shouted –
and you broke through, shattering my deafness.
You flashed, you shone –
and you put my blindness to flight.
You smelled sweet, and I breathed you in –
and now I long and pant for you.
I tasted you, and now I’m starving and parched.
You touched me – and I burst into flame
with a desire for your peace.

~ Augustine of Hippo, c. 400 A.D.

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