Poem: “Upon a Gloomy Night”


Upon a Gloomy Night
Dark Night of the Soul I

Upon a gloomy night,
All cares thrown to love
(Oh delightful adventure!)
With nobody in sight
I went about when all my house was hushed

In safety, unseen,
I crept up the secret stair
(Oh happy undertaking!)
Hidden from all other eyes
When in my house, all in silence slept.

On that lucky night
In secrecy, hidden from sight,
I went without seeing
And with no other light
Except that flame which in my heart was burning.

It lit and led me through,
Surely as the noonday sun,
To the One who waited near,
Whose presence well I knew
Where no other presence would appear.

Oh night that was my guide!
Oh darkness more lovely than the beauty of morning’s dawn
Oh night that joined the one who loves
To the beloved bride
Beloved with the Lover forever changed.

Within my flowering breast
Which I saved for only Him
He took his rest
And all my gifts I gave
Lulled by the gusts with which the cedars wave.

Flowing over my defenses
The fresh winds tousling his hair
With his soothing hand
My neck he touched,
Suspending my senses.

Lost to myself I stayed
My face upon my love…
All my actions ceased,
All my cares were released and
Flung amongst the lilies.

St. John of the Cross


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