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Poems   By: (1859-1907)

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This etext was prepared from the 1909 Burns and Oates edition by David Price, email

Poems by Francis Thompson


Dedication Love in Dian's Lap Before Her Portrait in Youth To a Poet Breaking Silence Manus Animam Pinxit A Carrier Song Scala Jacobi Portaque Eburnea Gilded Gold Her Portrait Miscellaneous Poems To the Dead Cardinal of Westminster A Fallen Yew Dream Tryst A Corymbus for Autumn The Hound of Heaven A Judgment in Heaven Poems on Children Daisy The Making of Viola To My Godchild To Poppy To Monica Thought Dying


If the rose in meek duty May dedicate humbly To her grower the beauty Wherewith she is comely; If the mine to the miner The jewels that pined in it, Earth to diviner The springs he divined in it; To the grapes the wine pitcher Their juice that was crushed in it, Viol to its witcher The music lay hushed in it; If the lips may pay Gladness In laughters she wakened, And the heart to its sadness Weeping unslakened, If the hid and sealed coffer, Whose having not his is, To the loosers may proffer Their finding here this is; Their lives if all livers To the Life of all living, To you, O dear givers! I give your own giving.


As lovers, banished from their lady's face And hopeless of her grace, Fashion a ghostly sweetness in its place, Fondly adore Some stealth won cast attire she wore, A kerchief or a glove: And at the lover's beck Into the glove there fleets the hand, Or at impetuous command Up from the kerchief floats the virgin neck: So I, in very lowlihead of love, Too shyly reverencing To let one thought's light footfall smooth Tread near the living, consecrated thing, Treasure me thy cast youth. This outworn vesture, tenantless of thee, Hath yet my knee, For that, with show and semblance fair Of the past Her Who once the beautiful, discarded raiment bare, It cheateth me. As gale to gale drifts breath Of blossoms' death, So dropping down the years from hour to hour This dead youth's scent is wafted me to day: I sit, and from the fragrance dream the flower. So, then, she looked (I say); And so her front sunk down Heavy beneath the poet's iron crown: On her mouth museful sweet (Even as the twin lips meet) Did thought and sadness greet: Sighs In those mournful eyes So put on visibilities; As viewless ether turns, in deep on deep, to dyes. Thus, long ago, She kept her meditative paces slow Through maiden meads, with waved shadow and gleam Of locks half lifted on the winds of dream, Till love up caught her to his chariot's glow. Yet, voluntary, happier Proserpine! This drooping flower of youth thou lettest fall I, faring in the cockshut light, astray, Find on my 'lated way, And stoop, and gather for memorial, And lay it on my bosom, and make it mine. To this, the all of love the stars allow me, I dedicate and vow me. I reach back through the days A trothed hand to the dead the last trump shall not raise. The water wraith that cries From those eternal sorrows of thy pictured eyes Entwines and draws me down their soundless intricacies!


Too wearily had we and song Been left to look and left to long, Yea, song and we to long and look, Since thine acquainted feet forsook The mountain where the Muses hymn For Sinai and the Seraphim. Now in both the mountains' shine Dress thy countenance, twice divine! From Moses and the Muses draw The Tables of thy double Law! His rod born fount and Castaly Let the one rock bring forth for thee, Renewing so from either spring The songs which both thy countries sing: Or we shall fear lest, heavened thus long, Thou should'st forget thy native song, And mar thy mortal melodies With broken stammer of the skies.

Ah! let the sweet birds of the Lord With earth's waters make accord; Teach how the crucifix may be Carven from the laurel tree, Fruit of the Hesperides Burnish take on Eden trees, The Muses' sacred grove be wet With the red dew of Olivet, And Sappho lay her burning brows In white Cecilia's lap of snows!

Thy childhood must have felt the stings Of too divine o'ershadowings; Its odorous heart have been a blossom That in darkness did unbosom, Those fire flies of God to invite, Burning spirits, which by night Bear upon their laden wing To such hearts impregnating... Continue reading book >>

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