The Dark Night Of The Soul

By Saint John of the Cross
Translated from Spanish to English by Jack Danya Kemplin in 2009

A song of the soul rejoicing at having achieved Union with it’s beloved, God.

Once on a dark night,
Burning with love’s ardent longings, I arose
(O coming of delightful throws!)
And snuck out so no one knows,
While all the house lay in deep repose

In the dark all secure,
Down secret steps, masked in secret clothes,
(O coming of delightful throws!)
In dark when no one knows,
While all the house lay in deep repose

In the dark luck of night
In secret places where no other goes,
I went without my sight
Without a guiding light
Except the fire of my heart burning from inside so bright.

This alone shone
Guiding clearer than the midday sun,
To my awaiting beloved one,
the one I know so well,
Deep in a place together-alone we could dwell.

O guiding dark of night!
O dark night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that can unite
Beloved and loved one,
love dancing joined as one.

And on my flowering breast
Which I had kept for him and him alone
He slept as I caressed
And loved him for my own,
Breathing the perfumed air from flowers blown.

as the sensual scent filled the air
I ran my fingers through his hair
Him caressing my neck so fair
with his hand’s gentle care
And all my senses were suspended there.

I abandoned myself to him,
resting my head on my beloved’s chest.
The world standing still at rest
All my worries fall away
Forgotten in the lilies on that night’s day.

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