Kingdom of Heaven (Thompson)

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Kingdom of Heaven
by Francis Thompson
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 darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!-
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.
The angels keep their ancient places; -
Turn but a stone, but start with a wing!
‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendour thing.
But(when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry; -and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt 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!


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.