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The Bibelot




From The Bibelot, A Reprint of Poetry and Prose for Book Lovers, chosen in part from scarce editions and sources not generally known, Volume X, Testimonial Edition, Edited and Originally Published by Thomas B. Mosher, Portland, Maine; Wm. Wise & Co.; New York; 1904; pp. 94-6.




GRACIOUS God rest him, he who toiled so well
     Secrets of grace to tell
Graciously; as the awed rejoicing priest
            Officiates at the feast,
Knowing, how deep within the liturgies
            Lie hid the mysteries.
Half of a passionately pensive soul
            He showed us, not the whole:
Who loved him best, they best, they only, knew
            The deeps, they might not view;
That, which was private between God and him;
            To others, justly dim.
Calm Oxford autumns and preluding springs!
            To me your memory brings
Delight upon delight, but chiefest one;
            The thought of Oxford’s son,
Who gave me of his welcome and his praise,
            When white were still my days;
Ere death had left life darkling, nor had sent
            Lament upon lament;
Ere sorrow told me, how I loved my lost,
            And bade me base love’s cost.
Scholarship’s constant saint, he kept her light
            In him divinely white:
With cloistral jealousness of ardour strove
            To guard her sacred grove,
95 Inviolate by unworldly feet, not paced
            In desecrating haste.
Oh, sweet grove smiling of that wisdom, brought
            From arduous ways of thought;
Oh, golden patience of that travailing soul,
            So hungered for the goal,
And vowed to keep, through subtly vigilant pain,
            From pastime on the plain;
Enaboured of the difficult mountain air
            Up beauty’s Hill of Prayer!
Stern is the faith of art, right stern, and he
            Loved her severity.
Momentous things he prized, gradual and fair,
            Births of a passionate air:
Some austere setting of an ancient sun,
            Its midday glories done,
Over a silent melancholy sea
            In sad serenity:
Some delicate dawning of a new desire,
            Distilling fragrant fire
On hearts of men prophetically fain
            To feel earth young again:
Some strange rich passage of the dreaming earth,
            Fulfilled with warmth and worth.
Ended, his service: yet, albeit farewell
            Tolls the faint vesper bell,
Patient beneath his Oxford trees and towers
            He still is gently ours:
96 Hierarch of the spirit, pure and strong,
            Worthy Uranian song.
Gracious God keep him: and God grant to me
            By miracle to see
That unforgettably most gracious friend,
            In the never-ending end.


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