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Louise Imogen Guiney (Луиза Имоджен Гвини)

Athassel Abbey

Folly and Time have fashioned
Of thee a songless reed;
O not-of-earth-impassioned!
Thy music’s mute indeed.

Red from the chantry crannies
The orchids burn and swing,
And where the arch began is
Rest for a raven’s wing;

And up the dinted column
Quick tails of squirrels wave,
And black, prodigious, solemn,
A forest fills the nave.

Still faith fuller, still faster,
To ruin give thy heart:
Perfect before the Master
Aye as thou wert, thou art.

But I am wind that passes
In ignorance and tears,
Uplifted from the grasses,
Blown to the void of years,

Blown to the void, yet sighing
In thee to merge and cease,
Last breath of beauty’s dying,
Of sanctity, of peace!

Though use nor place forever
Unto my soul befall,
By no belovèd river
Set in a saintly wall,

Do thou by builders given
Speech of the dumb to be,
Beneath thine open heaven,
Athassel! pray for me.

Louise Imogen Guiney's other poems:
  1. Changes in the Temple
  2. Undertones at Magdalen
  3. Port Meadow
  4. To a Child
  5. A December Walk

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