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Poem by Francis Thompson
By Reason of Thy Law
Here I make oath-- Although the heart that knows its bitterness Hear loath, And credit less-- That he who kens to meet Pain's kisses fierce Which hiss against his tears, Dread, loss, nor love frustrate, Nor all iniquity of the froward years Shall his inur-ed wing make idly bate, Nor of the appointed quarry his staunch sight To lose observance quite; Seal from half-sad and all-elate Sagacious eyes Ultimate Paradise; Nor shake his certitude of haughty fate. Pacing the burning shares of many dooms, I with stern tread do the clear-witting stars To judgment cite, If I have borne aright The proving of their pure-willed ordeal. From food of all delight The heavenly Falconer my heart debars, And tames with fearful glooms The haggard to His call; Yet sometimes comes a hand, sometimes a voice withal, And she sits meek now, and expects the light. In this Avernian sky, This sultry and incumbent canopy Of dull and doomed regret; Where on the unseen verges yet, O yet, At intervals, Trembles, and falls, Faint lightning of remembered transient sweet-- Ah, far too sweet But to be sweet a little, a little sweet, and fleet; Leaving this pallid trace, This loitering and most fitful light a space, Still some sad space, For Grief to see her own poor face:- Here where I keep my stand With all o'er-anguished feet, And no live comfort near on any hand; Lo, I proclaim the unavoided term, When this morass of tears, then drained and firm, Shall be a land-- Unshaken I affirm-- Where seven-quired psalterings meet; And all the gods move with calm hand in hand, And eyes that know not trouble and the worm.
Francis Thompson's other poems:
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