Inside the Rebellion of Saints

this is for all the kids who glow in the dark. I'm the narrator and this is just the prologue.

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"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 tearsI hid from Him, and under running laughter.        5      Up vistaed hopes I sped;      And shot, precipitated,Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,  From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.      But with unhurrying chase,       10      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.’       15           I pleaded, outlaw-wise,By many a hearted casement, curtained red,  Trellised with intertwining charities;(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,        Yet was I sore adread       20Lest, 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,       25  And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,  Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars;        Fretted to dulcet jarsAnd silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;       30  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 findMy own betrayal in their constancy,       35In 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,       40    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.       45      Still with unhurrying chase,      And unperturbèd pace,    Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,      Came on the following Feet,      And a Voice above their beat—       50    ‘Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.’ I sought no more that after which I strayed  In face of man or maid;But still within the little children’s eyes  Seems something, something that replies,       55They at least are for me, surely for me!I turned me to them very wistfully;But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair  With dawning answers there,Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.       60‘Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—shareWith me’ (said I) ‘your delicate fellowship;  Let me greet you lip to lip,  Let me twine with you caresses,    Wantoning       65  With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,    Banqueting  With her in her wind-walled palace,  Underneath her azured daïs,  Quaffing, as your taintless way is,       70    From a chaliceLucent-weeping out of the dayspring.’    So it was done:I in their delicate fellowship was one—Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.       75  I knew all the swift importings  On the wilful face of skies;  I knew how the clouds arise  Spumèd of the wild sea-snortings;    All that’s born or dies       80  Rose and drooped with; made them shapersOf mine own moods, or wailful or divine;  With them joyed and was bereaven.  I was heavy with the even,  When she lit her glimmering tapers       85  Round the day’s dead sanctities.  I laughed in the morning’s eyes.I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,  Heaven and I wept together,And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;       90Against the red throb of its sunset-heart    I laid my own to beat,    And share commingling heat;But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.       95For ah! we know not what each other says,  These things and I; in sound I speak—Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;  Let her, if she would owe me,      100Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me  The breasts o’ her tenderness:Never did any milk of hers once bless    My thirsting mouth.    Nigh and nigh draws the chase,      105    With unperturbèd pace,  Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;    And past those noisèd Feet    A voice comes yet more fleet—  ‘Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me!’      110Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,    And smitten me to my knee;  I am defenceless utterly.  I slept, methinks, and woke,      115And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.In the rash lustihead of my young powers,  I shook the pillaring hoursAnd pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—      120My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.  Yea, faileth now even dreamThe dreamer, and the lute the lutanist;      125Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twistI swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,Are yielding; cords of all too weak accountFor earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.  Ah! is Thy love indeed      130A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?  Ah! must—  Designer infinite!—Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou canst limn with it?      135My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;And now my heart is as a broken fount,Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever  From the dank thoughts that shiverUpon the sighful branches of my mind.      140  Such is; what is to be?The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;Yet ever and anon a trumpet soundsFrom the hid battlements of Eternity;      145Those shaken mists a space unsettle, thenRound the half-glimpsèd turrets slowly wash again.  But not ere him who summoneth  I first have seen, enwoundWith glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;      150His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields  Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields  Be dunged with rotten death?       Now of that long pursuit      155    Comes on at hand 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!      160  Strange, piteous, futile thing!Wherefore should any set thee love apart?Seeing none but I makes much of naught’ (He said),‘And human love needs human meriting:  How hast thou merited—      165Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?  Alack, thou knowest notHow little worthy of any love thou art!Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,  Save Me, save only Me?      170All 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 mistakeFancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:      175  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,      180  I am He Whom thou seekest!Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.’

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