I look into my glass,
And view my wasting skin,
Would God it came to pass
My heart had shrunk as thin.
For then, I, undistrest
By hearts grown cold to me,
lonely wait my endless rest
But Time, to make me grieve,
Part steals, lets part abide;
And shakes this fragile frame at eve
With throbbings of noontide.
(Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse, Penguin Classics’ note.9)
Is the bold part a subjunctive mood –– would it came God to pass?
This is a variation on the rather old-fashioned construction Would that … . For example:
Would that I could help you.
Would that the fighting stopped (would stop).
It is equivalent to saying:
I wish that I could help you.
I wish that the fighting would stop.
Would God it came to pass means something like:
I pray to God that it will happen.
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