Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 219. The Chantry of the Cherubim
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
219. The Chantry of the Cherubim
By Francis William Bourdillon  (b. 1852)
  
O CHANTRY of the Cherubim,
  Down-looking on the stream!
Beneath thy boughs the day grows dim;
  Through windows comes the gleam;
A thousand raptures fill the air,        5
Beyond delight, beyond despair.
 
I will not name one flower that clings
  In cluster at my feet!
I will not hail one bird that sings
  Its anthem loud or sweet!       10
This is the floor of Heaven, and these
The angels that God’s ear do please.
 
I walk as one unclothed of flesh,
  I wash my spirit clean;
I see old miracles afresh,       15
  And wonders yet unseen.
I will not leave Thee till Thou give
Some word whereby my soul may live!
 
I listened—but no voice I heard;
  I looked—no likeness saw;       20
Slowly the joy of flower and bird
  Did like a tide withdraw;
And in the heaven a silent star
Smiled on me, infinitely far.
 
I buoyed me on the wings of dream,       25
  Above the world of sense;
I set my thought to sound the scheme,
  And fathom the Immense;
I tuned my spirit as a lute
To catch wind-music wandering mute.       30
 
Yet came there never voice nor sign;
  But through my being stole
Sense of a Universe divine,
  And knowledge of a soul
Perfected in the joy of things,       35
The star, the flower, the bird that sings.
 
Nor I am more, nor less, than these;
  All are one brotherhood;
I and all creatures, plants, and trees,
  The living limbs of God;       40
And in an hour, as this, divine,
I feel the vast pulse throb in mine.

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