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James Thomson

(23 November 1834 - 3 June 1882 / Port Glasgow, Scotland)

Approach to St. Paul's


Eastwards through busy streets I lingered on;
Jostled by anxious crowds, who, heart and brain,
Were so absorbed in dreams of Mammon-gain,
That they could spare no time to look upon
The sunset's gold and crimson fires, which shone
Blessing keen eyes and wrinkled brows in vain.

Right in my path stood out that solemn Fane
Whose soaring cupola of stern grey stone
Lifteth for awful beacon to the sky
The burning Cross: silent and sole amid
That ceaseless uproar, as a pyramid
Isled in its desert. The great throngs pressed by
Heedless and urgent thus Religion towers
Above this sordid, restless life of ours.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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