O WORLD invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!
Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air–
That ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumour of thee there?
And our benumbed conceiving soars!–
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.
THe angels keep their ancient places;–
Turn but a stone, and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ’tis your estranged faces,
That miss the many-splendoured thing.
Cry;–and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixted Heaven and Charing Cross.
Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry,–clinging Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water
Not of Gennesareth, but Thames!