Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 376. Turris Eburnea
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Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
  
376. Turris Eburnea
By Wilfred Rowland Mary Childe  (b. 1890)
  
A Song of God’s Fool the Mystic


MY soul is like a fencèd tower,
And holds a secret room:
I hide me in it many an hour
Amid its dim perfume:
I have my holy bloom,        5
The Rose of Heaven in flower:
I hold my inner bower
In strait and dreaming gloom,
My soul my fencèd tower.
 
The Rose of soil angelical,       10
That shines not over earth,
I have its buds and petals all,
Inestimable of worth,
Its blood-red calyces
Dyed with the wine of God,       15
Roots earthy from that sod,
Which dews in Syon bless,
And leaves of loveliness.
 
Its radiant heart unfolds to me,
Its starry soul is plain       20
In glimmering felicity,
Dyed deep with love and pain:
And while my glad eyes gaze
Upon its petalled crown,
I hear a song come down       25
With thanksgiving and praise
Of the celestial town.
 
The moon, that torch Dianian,
Dreams ever paganly:
But I am only a simple man       30
In a white tower by the sea:
There comes a liturgy,
Even for a little span,
Great voices Christian,
Songs of my Lord to me,       35
To me, a simple man.
 
A tower of ivory it is
Beside a shoreless sea:
I look out of my lattices
And the saints appear to me,       40
A singing company
From heaven’s high palaces,
Chaunting their litanies:
White luting Cecily
Their first choir-maiden is.       45
 
The sea-wave crashes in my ears;
Again their viols cease:
I have been here for endless years.
And the room is full of peace.
Dim-sliding harmonies       50
And dreaming voice of seers
Come past all barriers:
With God I have no fears.
And round meroll His seas.

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