Oh flame of living love,

that at its deepest centre
wounds now my soul with tenderness!

Since you no more remove,
end then, if you intend to;
tear now the veil of mutual sweetness!

Oh cautery so sweet!
Oh wound’s caress!
Oh soothing hand! Oh delicate the touching,
that signals life complete,
pays every debt,
changes death to life in its ending!

Oh fiery light,
in whose resplendencies
deep caves of purest feeling,
that once were eyeless night,
with rarest beauties
shed warmth and light on the loving.

How lovingly, how gently
you return now to my breast
where you live all secret and alone
and filled with virtue’s glory
how your sweetest breath
delicately pierces to the bone!

“Flame of living love” by San Juan de la Cruz

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