Stanza x

Quench Thou my troubles,
For no one else can soothe them;
And let mine eyes behold Thee,
For thou art their light,
And I will keep them for Thee alone.

HERE the soul continues to beseech the Beloved to put an end to
its anxieties and distress–none other than He can do so–and that
in such a way that its eyes may behold Him; for He alone is the
light by which they see, and there is none other but He on whom it
will look.

‘Quench Thou my troubles.’

2. The desire of love has this property, that everything said or
done which does not become that which the will loves, wearies and
annoys it, and makes it peevish when it sees itself disappointed
in its desires. This and its weary longing after the vision of God
is here called ‘troubles.’ These troubles nothing can remove
except the possession of the Beloved; hence the soul prays Him to
quench them with His presence, to cool their feverishness, as the
cooling water him who is wearied by the heat. The soul makes use
of the expression ‘quench,’ to denote its sufferings from the fire
of love.

‘For no one else can soothe them.’

3. The soul, in order to move and persuade the Beloved to grant
its petition, says, ‘As none other but Thou can satisfy my needs,
do Thou quench my troubles.’ Remember here that God is then close
at hand, to comfort the soul and to satisfy its wants, when it has
and seeks no satisfaction or comfort out of Him. The soul that
finds no pleasure out of God cannot be long unvisited by the

‘And let mine eyes behold Thee.’

4. Let me see Thee face to face with the eyes of the soul,

‘For thou art their light.’

5. God is the supernatural light of the soul, without which it
abides in darkness. And now, in the excess of its affection, it
calls Him the light of its eyes, as an earthly lover, to express
his affection, calls the object of his love the light of his eyes.
The soul says in effect in the foregoing terms, ‘Since my eyes
have no other light, either of nature or of love, but Thee, let
them behold Thee, Who in every way art their light.’ David was
regretting this light when he said in his trouble, ‘The light of
mine eyes, and the same is not with me;’ [87] and Tobias, when he
said, ‘What manner of joy shall be to me who sit in darkness, and
see not the light of heaven?’ [88] He was longing for the clear
vision of God; for the light of heaven is the Son of God; as St.
John saith in the Apocalypse: ‘And the city needeth not sun, nor
moon to shine in it; for the glory of God hath illuminated it, and
the Lamb is the lamp thereof.’ [89]

‘And I will keep them for Thee alone.’

6. The soul seeks to constrain the Bridegroom to let it see the
light of its eyes, not only because it would be in darkness
without it, but also because it will not look upon anything but on
Him. For as that soul is justly deprived of this divine light if
it fixes the eyes of the will on any other light, proceeding from
anything that is not God, for then its vision is confined to that
object; so also the soul, by a certain fitness, deserves the
divine light, if it shuts its eyes against all objects whatever,
to open them only for the vision of God.


BUT the loving Bridegroom of souls cannot bear to see them suffer
long in the isolation of which I am speaking, for, as He saith by
the mouth of Zacharias, ‘He that shall touch you, toucheth the
apple of Mine eye;’ [90] especially when their sufferings, as
those of this soul, proceed from their love for Him. Therefore
doth He speak through Isaias, ‘It shall be before they call, I
will hear; as they are yet speaking, I will hear.’ [91] And the
wise man saith that the soul that seeketh Him as treasure shall
find Him. [92] God grants a certain spiritual presence of Himself
to the fervent prayers of the loving soul which seeks Him more
earnestly than treasure, seeing that it has abandoned all things,
and even itself, for His sake.

2. In that presence He shows certain profound glimpses of His
divinity and beauty, whereby He still increases the soul’s anxious
desire to behold Him. For as men throw water on the coals of the
forge to cause intenser heat, so our Lord in His dealings with
certain souls, in the intermission of their love, makes some
revelations of His majesty, to quicken their fervour, and to
prepare them more and more for those graces which He will give
them afterwards. Thus the soul, in that obscure presence of God,
beholding and feeling the supreme good and beauty hidden there, is
dying in desire of the vision, saying in the stanza that follows: