Treasure Island

Norman Rowland Gale

(1862-1942 / England)

A Priest


NATURE and he went ever hand in hand
Across the hills and down the lonely lane;
They captured starry shells upon the strand
And lay enchanted by the musing main.
So She, who loved him for his love of her,
Made him the heir to traceries and signs
On tiny children nigh too small to stir
In great green plains of hazel leaf or vines.
She taught the trouble of the nightingale;
Revealed the velvet secret of the rose;
She breathed divinity into his heart,
That rare divinity of watching those
Slow growths that make a nettle learn to dart
The puny poison of its little throes.

Her miracles motion, butterflies,
Rubies and sapphires skimming lily-crests,
Carved on a yellow petal with their eye
Tranced by the beauty of their powdered breasts,
Seen in the mirror of a drop of dew,
He loved as friends and as a friend he knew.
The dust of gold and scarlet underwings
More precious was to him than nuggets torn
From all invaded treasure-crypts of time,
And every floating, painted, silver beam
Drew him to roses where it stayed to dream,
Or down sweet avenues of scented lime.

And Nature trained him tenderly to know
The rain of melodies in coverts heard.
Let him but catch the cadences that flow
From hollybush or lilac, elm or sloe,
And he would mate the music with the bird.
The faintest song a redstart ever sang
Was redstart’s piping, and the whitethroat knew
No cunning trill, no mazy shake that rang
Doubtful on ears unaided by the view.

But in his glory, as a young pure priest
In that great temple, only roofed by stars,
An angel hastened from the sacred East
To reap the wisest and to leave the least.
And as he moaned upon the couch of death,
Breathing away his little share of breath,
All suddenly he sprang upright in bed!
Life, like a ray, poured fresh into his face,
Flooding the hollow cheeks with passing grace.
He listened long, then pointed up above;
Laughed a low laugh of boundless joy and love—
That was a plover called he softly said,
And on his wife’s breast fell, serenely dead!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: nature, mirror, angel, lonely, silver, music, rose, children, rain, friend, song, green, beauty, dream, joy, death, butterfly, child, spring, star

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Priest by Norman Rowland Gale )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

Poem of the Day

poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Randall Jarrell

 

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  4. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  10. My Teacher, My Hero, Geneen Alyssa Meyers

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]