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Eleanor Farjeon (Элинор Фарджон)

A Christening

This day we are met to set a name
On thy mysterious dust and flame,
That in the years to follow, when
Thy feet shall walk the ways of men,
Thou mayst according to his plan
Be known thereby to man.

O being undiscoverable!
Thy name thyself will never spell.
Whate’er thou art, whate’er wilt be,
Man’s tongue will never utter thee;
Towering upon thy inmost throne
Thou shalt of none be known.

We watch in wonder how thy brow
Grows strange and silent in sleep, and how
Even more silent and more strange
Thy waking is that brings no change
When thy dim dreams of slumber press
To dimmer dreamlessness.

But looking with a love that seems
To pierce thy undiscovered dreams,
Within thy small unfolded being
Some dream of our own making seeing,
“All that she feels and dreams,” we say,
“We too will know one day.”

Ah, even when human speech has come
To make thy mouth no longer dumb,
When quickened thought and sympathy
Like angels look from either eye,
Thyself will still be hidden as deep
As now, awake, asleep.

We must our knowledge of thee still
By nothing save by love fulfil,
And with the dreamings of the heart
Still guess at the dream of what thou art
Which only of thee and God is known,
Child whom this day names Joan.

Eleanor Farjeon's other poems:
  1. Three Miles to Penn
  2. Two Choruses from “Merlin in Broceliande”
  3. Sonnets. 12. I hear love answer: Since within the mesh
  4. Sonnets. 14. Now I have love again and life again
  5. “Colin Clout, Come Home again!”

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