Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 319. Uxbridge Road
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
319. Uxbridge Road
By Evelyn Underhill (Mrs. Stuart Moore)  (b. 1875)
  
THE WESTERN ROAD goes streaming out to seek the cleanly wild,
It pours the city’s dim desires towards the undefiled,
It sweeps betwixt the huddled homes about its eddies grown
To smear the little space between the city and the sown:
The torments of that seething tide who is there that can see?        5
There’s one who walked with starry feet the western road by me!
 
He is the Drover of the soul; he leads the flock of men
All wistful on that weary track, and brings them back again.
The dreaming few, the slaving crew, the motley caste of life—
The wastrel and artificer, the harlot and the wife—       10
They may not rest, for ever pressed by one they cannot see:
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me.
 
He drives them east, he drives them west, between the dark and light;
He pastures them in city pens, he leads them home at night.
The towery trams, the threaded trains, like shuttles to and fro       15
To weave the web of working days in ceaseless travel go.
How harsh the woof, how long the weft! who shall the fabric see?
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me!
 
Throughout the living joyful year at lifeless tasks to strive,
And scarcely at the end to save gentility alive;       20
The villa plot to sow and reap, to act the villa lie,
Beset by villa fears to live, midst villa dreams to die;
Ah, who can know the dreary woe? and who the splendour see?
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me.
 
Behold! he lent me as we went the vision of the seer;       25
Behold! I saw the life of men, the life of God shine clear.
I saw the hidden Spirit’s thrust; I saw the race fulfil
The spiral of its steep ascent, predestined of the Will.
Yet not unled, but shepherded by one they may not see—
The one who walked with starry feet the western road by me!       30

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