Sunday, November 17, 2013


Leave Those Gates of Pearl Ajar

Thomas Thornley (1855-1949), "The Last Prayer," in The Mercury Book of Verse. Being a Selection of Poems published in The London Mercury, 1919-1930 (London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1931), pp. 254-255:
(Suggested by Revelation, Chapter XXI.)

O were it mine to win unchallenged way
(Presumptuous thought!) where Zion's braveries are;
Where Saints, more bright than summer-lightning's play,
Send their loud adorations pealing far
Through jewelled courts of day,
Still one last prayer it would be mine to pray—
"Leave, sometimes leave, those gates of pearl ajar!"
That I may steal from too ebullient bliss,
And on a less delirious beauty feed,
In some cool dell where lights and shadows kiss,
         And (Take it not amiss,
Far-sounding Seraphs!) not a note is heard
Of harp or viol, only the piping reed
Of woodland rill and unbedizened bird.

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