Richard Chenebix Trench

(1807-1886 / Ireland)

What, Thou Askest, Is The Heaven - Poem by Richard Chenebix Trench

I.
What, thou askest, is the heaven, and the round earth and the sea,
And their dwellers, men and angels,--if with God compared they be?

II.
Heaven and earth, and men and angels, all that any where is named,
Matched with him, lose name and being, and to nothing shrink ashamed.

III.
So 'tis seen when this world's Sultan in his glory forth doth ride,
Highest, lowest, beggars, Emirs, all alike their faces hide.

IV.
Its unnumbered billows rolling, great to thee the Ocean seems;
Great the Sun, from golden fountains pouring out a flood of beams:

V.
Yet the faithful, God-enlightened, know another wonderland,
Where the Ocean is a dew-drop, and the Sun a grain of sand.

VI.
In the forest's dark recesses hast thou marked the glow-worm's light,
In a green dell unbeholden, twinkling through the storm and night?

VII.
Once a pilgrim said --'O gentle star, that shinest nightly, say,
Why dost thou appear not ever in the bright and sunny day?'

VIII.
Hear what then the gentle glow-worm answered from its mouth of fire,--
'In the gloomy forest shine I, but before the sun expire.'


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010



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