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Poem by Francis Thompson


A Carrier Song


I.

Since you have waned from us,
   Fairest of women!
I am a darkened cage
   Song cannot hymn in.
My songs have followed you,
   Like birds the summer;
Ah! bring them back to me,
   Swiftly, dear comer!
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!

II.

Where wings to rustle use,
   But this poor tarrier
Searching my spirits eaves
   Find I for carrier.
Ah! bring them back to me
   Swiftly, sweet comer!
Swift, swift, and bring with you
   Songs Indian summer!
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!

III.

Whereso your angel is,
   My angel goeth;
I am left guardianless,
   Paradise knoweth!
I have no Heaven left
   To weep my wrongs to;
Heaven, when you went from us;
   Went with my songs too.
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!

IV.

I have no angels left
   Now, Sweet, to pray to:
Where you have made your shrine
   They are away to.
They have struck Heavens tent,
   And gone to cover you:
Whereso you keep your state
   Heaven is pitched over you!
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!

V.

She that is Heavens Queen
   Her title borrows,
For that she pitiful
   Beareth our sorrows.
So thou, Regina mî,
   Spes infirmorum;
With all our grieving crowned
   Mater dolorum!
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!

VI.

Yet, envious coveter
Of others grieving!
This lonely longing yet
   Scapeth your reaving.
Cruel! to take from a
   Sinner his Heaven!
Think you with contrite smiles
   To be forgiven?
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!

VII.

Penitent! give me back
   Angels, and Heaven;
Render your stolen self,
   And be forgiven!
How frontier Heaven from you?
   For my soul prays, Sweet,
Still to your face in Heaven,
   Heaven in your face, Sweet!
      Seraphim,
      Her to hymn,
      Might leave their portals;
      And at my feet learn
      The harping of mortals!



Francis Thompson


Francis Thompson's other poems:
  1. Epilogue to the Poet's Sitter
  2. A Fallen Yew
  3. Any Saint
  4. Scala Jacobi Portaque Eburnea
  5. A Judgment in Heaven


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