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Poem by Francis Thompson
His shoulder did I hold Too high that I, o'erbold Weak one, Should lean thereon. But He a little hath Declined His stately path And my Feet set more high; That the slack arm may reach His shoulder, and faint speech Stir His unwithering hair. And bolder now and bolder I lean upon that shoulder, So dear He is and near. And with His aureole The tresses of my soul Are blent In wished content. Yea, this too gentle Lover Hath flattering words to move her To pride By His sweet side. Ah, Love! somewhat let be! Lest my humility Grow weak When Thou dost speak! Rebate Thy tender suit, Lest to herself impute Some worth Thy bride of earth! A maid too easily Conceits herself to be Those things Her lover sings; And being straitly wooed, Believes herself the Good And Fair He seeks in her. Turn something of Thy look, And fear me with rebuke, That I May timorously Take tremors in Thy arms, And with contrivèd charms Allure A love unsure. Not to me, not to me, Builded so flawfully, O God, Thy humbling laud! Not to this man, but Man,-- Universe in a span; Point Of the spheres conjoint; In whom eternally Thou, Light, dost focus Thee!-- Didst pave The way o' the wave, Rivet with stars the Heaven, For causeways to Thy driven Car In its coming far Unto him, only him; In Thy deific whim Didst bound Thy works' great round In this small ring of flesh; The sky's gold-knotted mesh Thy wrist Did only twist To take him in that net.-- Man! swinging-wicket set Between The Unseen and Seen, Lo, God's two worlds immense, Of spirit and of sense, Wed In this narrow bed; Yea, and the midge's hymn Answers the seraphim Athwart Thy body's court! Great arm-fellow of God! To the ancestral clod Kin, And to cherubin; Bread predilectedly O' the worm and Deity! Hark, O God's clay-sealed Ark, To praise that fits thee, clear To the ear within the ear, But dense To clay-sealed sense. Thee God's great utterance bore, O secret metaphor Of what Thou dream'st no jot! Cosmic metonymy; Weak world-unshuttering key; One Seal of Solomon! Trope that itself not scans Its huge significance, Which tries Cherubic eyes. Primer where the angels all God's grammar spell in small, Nor spell The highest too well. Point for the great descants Of starry disputants; Equation Of creation. Thou meaning, couldst thou see, Of all which dafteth thee; So plain, It mocks thy pain; Stone of the Law indeed, Thine own self couldst thou read, Thy bliss Within thee is. Compost of Heaven and mire, Slow foot and swift desire! Lo, To have Yes, choose No; Gird, and thou shalt unbind; Seek not, and thou shalt find; To eat, Deny thy meat; And thou shalt be fulfilled With all sweet things unwilled: So best God loves to jest With children small--a freak Of heavenly hide-and-seek Fit For thy wayward wit, Who art thyself a thing Of whim and wavering; Free When His wings pen thee; Sole fully blest, to feel God whistle thee at heel; Drunk up As a dew-drop, When He bends down, sun-wise, Intemperable eyes; Most proud, When utterly bowed, To feel thyself and be His dear nonentity-- Caught Beyond human thought In the thunder-spout of Him, Until thy being dim And be Dead deathlessly. Stoop, stoop; for thou dost fear The nettle's wrathful spear, So slight Art thou of might! Rise; for Heaven hath no frown When thou to thee pluck'st down, Strong clod! The neck of God.
Francis Thompson's other poems:
English Poetry. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org