Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

(1840 - 1922 / England)

A Chaunt In Praise


How many hymns have I chaunted, Lady, in laud of thee,
Each with a sigh for its burthen, tear for its antiphon?
Love--songs are sweet in the morning. All things in praise of thee
Evening and morning rejoice, intoning in unison.

Noontide and night have I heard them, birds in the bulrushes,
Ewes with their lambs in the pastures, winds in the wilderness,
Doves as they light in the palm--tops, moans of the waterwheel,
Eagles and ravens exulting, all speak the name of thee.

Fair is thy face, as the first star seen in the western sky
Robed in the rose of the sunset, pure in its loneliness.
Angels look down from its windows, smile on the world of men,
Near yet afar from their grieving. Thou too hast smiled on me.

Crown me with bays, nay, with roses. What should I do with bays,
Emblems of earthly ambition, I who but live for love?
Earn me reward of the red rose, thine and love's laureate,
Thus with the flower of thy kindness crowning my constancy.

Deign to accept an allegiance due to thy royalty.
Empires are thine. Be my kingdom here at thy kness to kneel.
Not till thou speak will I raise me, turn to life's emptiness,
Ashes and dust for my portion, O thou most pitiful!

Verily grief is love's sister. Therefore I weave for thee
Anthems of grief and of true love born of thy loveliness.
Read and forget, and to--morrow, lo, where my path hath been,
Eagles and ravens exulting scream from the wilderness.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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