Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
He Would Have His Lady Sing

Digby Mackworth Dolben (1848–1867)
 
SING 1 me the men ere this
Who, to the gate that is
A cloven pearl uprapt,
The big white bars between
With dying eyes have seen        5
The sea of jasper, lapt
About with crystal sheen;
 
And all the far pleasance
Where linkèd Angels dance,
With scarlet wings that fall        10
Magnifical, or spread
Most sweetly over-head,
In fashion musical,
Of cadenced lutes instead.
 
Sing me the town they saw        15
Withouten fleck or flaw,
Aflame, more fine than glass
Of fair Abbayes the boast,
More glad than wax of cost
Doth make at Candlemas        20
The Lifting of the Host:
 
Where many Knights and Dames,
With new and wondrous names,
One great Laudatè Psalm
Go singing down the street;—        25
’Tis peace upon their feet,
In hand ’tis pilgrim palm
Of Goddes Land so sweet:—
 
Where Mother Mary walks
In silver lily stalks,        30
Star-tirèd, moon-bedight;
Where Cecily is seen,
With Dorothy in green,
And Magdalen all white,
The maidens of the Queen.        35
 
Sing on—the Steps untrod,
The Temple that is God,
Where incense doth ascend,
Where mount the cries and tears
Of all the dolorous years,        40
With moan that ladies send
Of durance and sore fears:—
 
And Him who sitteth there,
The Christ of purple hair,
And great eyes deep with ruth,        45
Who is of all things fair
That shall be, or that were,
The sum, and very truth.
Then add a little prayer,
 
That since all these be so,        50
Our Liege, who doth us know,
Would fend from Sathanas,
And bring us, of His grace,
To that His joyous place:
So we the Doom may pass,        55
And see Him in the Face.
 
Note 1. Dolben. He would have his lady sing. Poems. No. 49. [back]
 
 
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