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Poem by Francis Thompson
To a Poet Breaking Silence
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! * * * * * I think thy girlhood's watchers must Have took thy folded songs on trust, And felt them, as one feels the stir Of still lightnings in the hair, When conscious hush expects the cloud To speak the golden secret loud Which tacit air is privy to; Flasked in the grape the wine they knew, Ere thy poet-mouth was able For its first young starry babble. Keep'st thou not yet that subtle grace? Yea, in this silent interspace, God sets His poems in thy face! The loom which mortal verse affords, Out of weak and mortal words, Wovest thou thy singing-weed in, To a rune of thy far Eden. Vain are all disguises! Ah, Heavenly _incognita_! Thy mien bewrayeth through that wrong The great Uranian House of Song! As the vintages of earth Taste of the sun that riped their birth, We know what never-cadent Sun Thy lampèd clusters throbbed upon, What plumèd feet the winepress trod; Thy wine is flavorous of God. Whatever singing-robe thou wear Has the paradisal air; And some gold feather it has kept Shows what Floor it lately swept.
Francis Thompson's other poems:
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