Lascelles Abercrombie (also known as the Georgian Laureate, linking him with the "Georgian poets") was a British poet and literary critic, one of the "Dymock poets". He was born in Ashton upon Mersey and educated at the University of Manchester.
Before the First World War, he lived for a time at Dymock in Gloucestershire, part of a community that included Rupert Brooke and Robert Frost. Edward Thomas also visited. In 1922, he was appointed Professor of English at the University of Leeds. In 1929 he moved on to the University of London, and in 1935 to a prestigious readership at Oxford University. He wrote a series of works on the nature of poetry, and several volumes of original verse, that were collected in 'Poems' (1930). In the same year he published separately his most important poem, 'The Sale of Saint Thomas' in six 'Acts'. Non-poetic works of his include The Idea of Great Poetry (1925) and Romanticism (1926).
He was the brother of the architect Patrick Abercrombie. His son was the cell biologist Michael Abercrombie.
Hymn To Love
We are thine, O Love, being in thee and made of thee,
As théou, Léove, were the déep thought
And we the speech of the thought; yea, spoken are we,
Thy fires of thought out-spoken:
But burn’d not through us thy imagining
Like fiérce méood in a séong céaught,
We were as clamour’d words a fool may fling,
Loose words, of meaning broken.
For what more like the brainless speech of a fool,—
The lives travelling dark fears,
And as a boy throws pebbles in a pool
Thrown down abysmal places?
Hazardous are the stars, yet is our birth
And our journeying time theirs;
As words of air, life makes of starry earth
Sweet soul-delighted faces;
As voices are we in the worldly wind;
The great wind of the world’s fate
Is turn’d, as air to a shapen sound, to mind
And marvellous desires.
But not in the world as voices storm-shatter’d,
Not borne down by the wind’s weight;
The rushing time rings with our splendid word
Like darkness fill’d with fires.
For Love doth use us for a sound of song,
And Love’s meaning our life wields,
Making our souls like syllables to throng
His tunes of exultation.
Down the blind speed of a fatal world we fly,
As rain blown along earth’s fields;
Yet are we god-desiring liturgy,
Sung joys of adoration;
Yea, made of chance and all a labouring strife,
We go charged with a strong flame;
For as a language Love hath seized on life
His burning heart to story.
Yea, Love, we are thine, the liturgy of thee,
Thy thought’s golden and glad name,
The mortal conscience of immortal glee,
Love’s zeal in Love’s own glory.