William Bede Dalley - Poem by Henry Kendall
That love of letters which is as the light
Of deathless verse, intense, ineffable,
Hath made this scholar’s nature like the white,
Pure Roman soul of whom the poets tell.
He having lived so long with lords of thought,
The grand hierophants of speech and song,
Hath from the high, august communion caught
Some portion of their inspiration strong.
The clear, bright atmosphere through which he looks
Is one by no dim, close horizon bound;
The power shed as flame from noble books
Hath made for him a larger world around.
And he, thus strengthened with the fourfold force
Which scholarship to genius gives, is one
That liberal thinkers, pausing in their course,
With fine esteem are glad to look upon.
He, with the faultless intuition born
Of splendid faculties, sees things aright,
And all his strong, immeasurable scorn
Falls like a thunder on the hypocrite.
But for the sufferer and the son of shame
On whom remorse — a great, sad burden — lies,
His kindness glistens like a morning flame,
Immense compassion shines within his eyes.
Firm to the Church by which his fathers stood,
But tolerant to every form of creed,
He longs for universal brotherhood,
And is a Christian gentleman indeed.
These in his honour. May his life be long,
And, like a summer with a brilliant close,
As full of music as a perfect song,
As radiant as a rich, unhandled rose.
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