In No Strange Land

by Francis Thompson


Original Language English

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 and start a wing!
'Tis ye, 'tis your estrang¸d faces,
That miss the many-splendoured 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 to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!

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Recommended Books: Francis Thompson

The Oxford Book of Mystical Verse The Hound of Heaven The Hound of Heaven and Other Poems The Hound of Heaven at My Heels: The Lost Diary of Francis Thompson Poetry As Prayer: The Hound of Heave





In No Strange Land