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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughts from Francis Thompson

(In case you're wondering who Francis Thompson is, he was a poet who lived during the late 1800's/early 1900's. I read him in literature this week and thought he was really powerful. This is excerpts from his poem "The Hound of Heaven.")

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind, and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him...
(For, though I knew His love Who followed
Yet I was sore adread [i.e. very worried]
Lest, having Him, I must have naught besides).
Nigh and nigh [near and nearer] draws the chase,
With unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy
And past those noised feet,
A Voice comes yet more fleet
"Lo, naught [nothing] contents thee, who content'st not [is not contented in] Me."
Naked I wait thy Love's uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenseless utterly.
Ah! Must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn [can write] with it?
Such is, what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
"Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms [not to hurt you],
But just that thou might seek it in My arms.
All which thy childish mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"
Is my gloom after all,
Shade of His hand, outstreached caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!"

Apologies for its length and old English (though this is only a sampling), but I thought it was neat.