Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Hound of Heaven

This poem was posted on phatmass.. I've included the poem and my comments from the site. It's definitely one of my favorites now!

The Hound of Heaven -- by Francis Thompson

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat - and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet -
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet I was sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to.
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o' the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden - to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover -
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged His chariot 'thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o' their feet: -
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat -
"Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me."

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at had the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
"And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherfore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I make much of naught" (He said),
"And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited -
Of all man's clotted clay, the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come."

Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."
(found here)


My response:
I love this poem. It speaks very much to my vocational story. It talks about coveting things of the world when what we seek to covet is our Lord. Our deepest desires are for God and God alone. In the poem it talks about God taking things from the author not for his/her harm but for their good.. that they might seek all things in Him. What a beautiful story! And how true it is in each of our lives, though on different levels, I'm sure.

I think it speaks most to the culture of death in this world. We seek to hide and reject the One that will save us. We seek all but one thing, the One who loves us more than we could ever know. It is our job to love Him before and above all things and this poem speaks to that. It speaks to His unfailing love and His constant pursuit of our hearts.

I'm gushing..

5 Comments:

Blogger Julie D. said...

I have heard of this poem but never read it. Wow!

12/29/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

laura......this poem is also in the book that i got u for your birthday :D

1/03/2007 12:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

laura......this poem is also in the book that i got u for your birthday :D

1/03/2007 12:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

woh, twice, haha :)

1/03/2007 12:42:00 AM  
Blogger Laura H. said...

Well I hadn't read it yet. Neat! :D

1/03/2007 08:13:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home