The troubled, hampered, dismal, and diseased, all the distress of disintegrating, is in truth nothing else than the single semblance in which truth—truly—conceals itself: the all-pervading. everlasting pain. Pain is thus neither repugnant nor profitable. Pain is the benignity in the nature of all essential being. The onefold simplicity of its converse nature determines all becoming out of concealed primal earliness, and attunes it to the bright serenity of the great soul.

So painful good, so truthful is what lives,
And softly touches you an ancient stone:
Truly! I shall forever be with you.
O mouth that trembles through the silvery willow.

The stanza is the pure song of pain, sung to complete the three-part poem called "Bright Spring" (21). The primal early brightness of all dawning being trembles out of the stillness of concealed pain.

To our customary way of thinking, the convene nature of pain-that its sweep carries us truly onward only as it sweeps us back-may easily seem self-contradictory. But beneath this semblance is concealed the essential onefold simplicity of pain. Flaming, it carries farthest when it holds to itself most intimately in contemplating vision.

Thus pain, the great soul's fundamental trait, remains pure harmony with the holiness of the blue. For the blue shines upon the soul's face by withdrawing into its own depth. Whenever it is present, the holy endures only by keeping within this withdrawal, and by turning vision toward the fitting.

The nature of pain, its concealed relation to the blue, is put into words in the last stanza of a poem called "Transfiguration" (137):

Blue flower,
That softly sounds in withered stone.

The "blue flower" is the "gentle cornflower sheaf" of the ghostly night. The words sing of the wellspring from which