Francis Thompson

(16 December 1859 – 13 November 1907 / Preston, England)

A Carrier Song


I.

Since you have waned from us,
Fairest of women!
I am a darkened cage
Song cannot hymn in.
My songs have followed you,
Like birds the summer;
Ah! bring them back to me,
Swiftly, dear comer!
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

II.

Where wings to rustle use,
But this poor tarrier -
Searching my spirit's eaves -
Find I for carrier.
Ah! bring them back to me
Swiftly, sweet comer!
Swift, swift, and bring with you
Song's Indian summer!
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

III.

Whereso your angel is,
My angel goeth;
I am left guardianless,
Paradise knoweth!
I have no Heaven left
To weep my wrongs to;
Heaven, when you went from us;
Went with my songs too.
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

IV.

I have no angels left
Now, Sweet, to pray to:
Where you have made your shrine
They are away to.
They have struck Heaven's tent,
And gone to cover you:
Whereso you keep your state
Heaven is pitched over you!
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

V.

She that is Heaven's Queen
Her title borrows,
For that she pitiful
Beareth our sorrows.
So thou, Regina mi,
Spes infirmorum;
With all our grieving crowned
Mater dolorum!
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

VI.

Yet, envious coveter
Of other's grieving!
This lonely longing yet
'Scapeth your reaving.
Cruel! to take from a
Sinner his Heaven!
Think you with contrite smiles
To be forgiven?
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

VII.

Penitent! give me back
Angels, and Heaven;
Render your stolen self,
And be forgiven!
How frontier Heaven from you?
For my soul prays, Sweet,
Still to your face in Heaven,
Heaven in your face, Sweet!
Seraphim,
Her to hymn,
Might leave their portals;
And at my feet learn
The harping of mortals!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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