In No Strange Land
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O world invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air –
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?
Not where the wheeling systems darkness,
And our benumb’d conceiving soars! –
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beasts at our own clay-shuttered doors.
The angels keep their ancient places; -
Turn but a stone, and start a wing!
Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendour’d thing.
But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry – and upon thy so sore loss
Shall the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched between heaven and Charing Cross
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry – clinging heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Gennesareth, but Thames!
Published Sun 27th May 2012 12:45:25