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Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
 
The Organist in Heaven
By Thomas Edward Brown (1830–1897)
 
[Samuel Sebastian Wesley]

WHEN Wesley died, the Angelic orders,
    To see him at the state,
Press’d so incontinent that the warders
    Forgot to shut the gate.
So I, that hitherto had follow’d        5
    As one with grief o’ercast,
Where for the doors a space was hollow’d,
    Crept in, and heard what pass’d.
And God said:—‘Seeing thou hast given
    Thy life to my great sounds,        10
Choose thou through all the cirque of Heaven
    What most of bliss redounds.’
Then Wesley said:—‘I hear the thunder
    Low growling from Thy seat—
Grant me that I may bind it under        15
    The trampling of my feet.’
And Wesley said:—‘See, lightning quivers
    Upon the presence walls—
Lord, give me of it four great rivers,
    To be my manuals.’        20
And then I saw the thunder chidden
    As slave to his desire;
And then I saw the space bestridden
    With four great bands of fire;
And stage by stage, stop stop subtending,        25
    Each lever strong and true,
One shape inextricable blending,
    The awful organ grew.
Then certain angels clad the Master
    In very marvellous wise,        30
Till clouds of rose and alabaster
    Conceal’d him from mine eyes.
And likest to a dove soft brooding,
    The innocent figure ran;
So breathed the breath of his preluding,        35
    And then the fugue began—
Began; but, to his office turning,
    The porter swung his key;
Wherefore, although my heart was yearning,
    I had to go; but he        40
Play’d on; and, as I downward clomb,
    I heard the mighty bars
Of thunder-gusts, that shook heaven’s dome,
    And moved the balanced stars.
 
 
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