by St. John of the Cross, adapted by Loreena McKinnitt
Upon a darkened night
The flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright
I fled my house while all in quiet rest
Shrouded by the night
And by the secret stair I quickly fled
The veil concealed my eyes
While all within lay quiet as the dead.
O, night thou was my guide!
O, night more loving than the rising sun!
O, night that joined the Lover to the beloved one!
Transforming each of them into the other.
Upon that misty night
In secrecy beyond such mortal sight
Without a guide or light
Than that which burned as deeply in my heart.
That fire ’twas led me on
And shone more bright than of the midday sun
To where He waited still
It was a place where no one else could come.
Within my pounding heart
Which kept itself entirely for Him
He fell into His sleep
beneath the cedars all my love I gave.
From o’er the fortress walls
The wind would brush His hair against His brow
And with its smoother hand
caressed my every sense it would allow.
I lost my self to Him
And laid my face upon my Lover’s breast
And care and grief grew dim
As in the morning’s mist became the light.
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair.
*Arranged and adapted by Loreena McKennitt, 1993