I don't know that I would consider Newman a mystic in my sense of the term, but if one were to say that mystics spoke of the divine in a way that expressed a reality that was deeper than most others could fathom, then I suppose in many ways Newman is truly a mystic. There are very few people who actually understand much of what he wrote about God, that is for darn sure.
Anyway, this particular piece happens to be one of my favorite things Newman ever wrote, perhaps because I actually grasp what he means.
Lead Kindly Light
Lead kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom, lead Thou me on!
the night is dark and I am from from home; lead Thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on;
I love to choose and see my path; but now lead Thou me on!
I love the garish day, and spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years!
So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still will lead me on.
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till the night is gone,
And with the morn those angel faces smile, which I
have loved long since, and lost awhile!
John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801 -1890)
I wanted to include a video of some confrers of Fr. Denis singing a version of this at his Installation on Sunday but somehow I can't get it to load on blogger. Too bad they sing beautifully.