Treasure Island

Francis William Bourdillon

(22 March 1852 – 13 January 1921 / Runcorn, Cheshire)

The Chantry Of The Cherubim


O CHANTRY of the Cherubim,
Down-looking on the stream!
Beneath thy boughs the day grows dim;
Through windows comes the gleam;
A thousand raptures fill the air,
Beyond delight, beyond despair.

I will not name one flower that clings
In cluster at my feet!
I will not hail one bird that sings
Its anthem loud or sweet!
This is the floor of Heaven, and these
The angels that God’s ear do please.

I walk as one unclothed of flesh,
I wash my spirit clean;
I see old miracles afresh,
And wonders yet unseen.
I will not leave Thee till Thou give
Some word whereby my soul may live!

I listened—but no voice I heard;
I looked—no likeness saw;
Slowly the joy of flower and bird
Did like a tide withdraw;
And in the heaven a silent star
Smiled on me, infinitely far.

I buoyed me on the wings of dream,
Above the world of sense;
I set my thought to sound the scheme,
And fathom the Immense;
I tuned my spirit as a lute
To catch wind-music wandering mute.

Yet came there never voice nor sign;
But through my being stole
Sense of a Universe divine,
And knowledge of a soul
Perfected in the joy of things,
The star, the flower, the bird that sings.

Nor I am more, nor less, than these;
All are one brotherhood;
I and all creatures, plants, and trees,
The living limbs of God;
And in an hour, as this, divine,
I feel the vast pulse throb in mine.

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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