O what is it that wanders in the wind?
And what it is that whispers in the wood?
What is the river singing to the sun?
Why this vague pain in every charmèd sense,
This yearning, keen suspense?
Often I've seen a garment floating by,
Fringe of it only; golden brown it lay
On the ripe grasses, fern green on the ferns,
And in the wood, like bluebells' misty blue
Whitened with mountain dew.
I laid me low among the mountain grass,
I laid me low among the river fern,
I hid me in the wood and tried to hold
The lovely wonder of it as it passed,
And tried to hold it fast,
It slipped like sunshine through my eager hands,
See, they are dusted as with pollen dust;
Soft dust of gold, and soft the sense of touch,
Soft as the south wind's sea-blown evening kiss,
But I have only this,
This dust of vanished gold upon my hands,
This breath of wind blowing upon my hair,
Stirring of something near, so near, but far,
Glimmering through colour's fleeting preciousness,
The fringes of a dress.
O Wearer of that garment, if it's hem
Hardly perceived can thrill us, what must Thou,
Its Weaver and its Wearer, be to see?
Master, where dwellest Thou? O tell me now,
Where dwellest Thou?
The grasses turned their golden heads away,
And shyer and more wistful stood the ferns,
The little flowers looked up with puzzled eyes;
Only the river, who is all my own,
Left me not quite alone,
But mixed his music with my human cry,
Till somewhere from the half-withdrawing wood
Sound of familiar footsteps: Is it Thou?
Master, where dwellest Thou? O speak to me.
And He said, Come and see.
-Amy Carmichael, Where Dwellest Thou?