Hawker of Morwenstow by Lionel Johnson

To Mrs. Dalton

Strong Shepherd of thy sheep, pasturers of the sea;
Far on the Western marge, thy passionate Cornish land!
Oh, that from out thy Paradise thou could’st thine hand
Reach forth to mine, and I might tell my love to thee.

For one the faith, and one the joy, of thee and me,
Catholic faith and Celtic joy: I understand
Somewhat, I too, the Messengers from Sion strand;
The voices and the visions of the Mystery.

Ah, not the Chaunt alone was thine; thine too the Quest!
And at last the Sangraal of the Paschal Christ
Flashed down its fair red Glory to those dying eyes:
They closed in death, and opened on the Victim’s Breast.
Now, while they look for ever on the Sacrificed,
Remember, how thine ancient race in twilight lies!

Lionel Johnson, 1895

 

from Poetical Works of Lionel Johnson, Elkin Mathews, 1915, pp. 254-5.

Contributed by Charles Cox

LINKS

- More poems by Lionel Pigot Johnson (1867-1902) at Poets’ Corner

- ‘Lionel Johnson as a Religious Poet’, at the Victorian Web