The Hound Of Heaven Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


I fled Him down the nights and down the daysA
I fled Him down the arches of the yearsB
I fled Him down the labyrinthine waysA
Of my own mind and in the midst of tearsC
I hid from him and under running laughterD
Up vistaed hopes I sped and shot precipitatedE
Adown titanic glooms of chasme d hearsF
From those strong feet that followed followed afterD
But with unhurrying chase and unperturbe d paceG
Deliberate speed majestic instancyG
They beat and a Voice beatH
More instant than the feetH
All things betray thee who betrayest meI
I pleaded outlaw wise by many a hearted casementH
curtained red trellised with inter twining charitiesG
For though I knew His love who followe dH
Yet was I sore adread lest having HimJ
I should have nought besideH
But if one little casement parted wideH
The gust of his approach would clash it toH
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursueH
Across the margent of the world I fledH
And troubled the gold gateways of the starsG
Smiting for shelter on their clange d barsG
Fretted to dulcet jars and silvern chatterD
The pale ports of the moonK
I said to Dawn be sudden to Eve be soonK
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me overD
From this tremendous LoverD
Float thy vague veil about me lest He seeH
I tempted all His servitors but to findH
My own betrayal in their constancyH
In faith to Him their fickleness to meH
Their traitorous trueness and their loyal deceitH
To all swift things for swiftness did I sueH
Clung to the whistling mane of every windH
But whether they swept smoothly fleetH
The long savannahs of the blueH
Or whether thunder drivenL
They clanged His chariot thwart a heavenL
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn of their feetH
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursueH
Still with unhurrying chase and unperturbed paceG
Deliberate speed majestic instancyG
Came on the following feet and a Voice above their beatH
Nought shelters thee who wilt not shelter MeH
I sought no more that after which I strayedH
In face of Man or MaidH
But still within the little childrens' eyesG
Seems something something that repliesG
They at least are for me surely for meH
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fairM
With dawning answers thereM
Their angel plucked them from me by the hairM
Come then ye other children Nature'sG
Share with me said I your delicate fellowshipN
Let me greet you lip to lipN
Let me twine with you caressesG
Wantoning with our Lady Mother's vagrant tressesG
Banqueting with her in her wind walled palaceG
Underneath her azured dai sG
Quaffing as your taintless way isG
From a chalice lucent weeping out of the dayspringO
So it was doneL
I in their delicate fellowship was oneL
Drew the bolt of Nature's secreciesG
I knew all the swift importings on the wilful face of skiesG
I knew how the clouds ariseG
Spume d of the wild sea snortingsG
All that's born or diesG
Rose and drooped withP
Made them shapers of mine own moods or wailful or DivineQ
With them joyed and was bereavenQ
I was heavy with the EvenQ
when she lit her glimmering tapers round the day's dead sanctitiesG
I laughed in the morning's eyesG
I triumphed and I saddened with all weatherD
Heaven and I wept togetherD
and its sweet tears were salt with mortal mineQ
Against the red throb of its sunset heartH
I laid my own to beatH
And share commingling heatH
But not by that by that was eased my human smartH
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven's grey cheekO
For ah we know what each other saysG
these things and I In sound I speakO
Their sound is but their stir they speak by silencesG
Nature poor step dame cannot slake my drouthP
Let her if she would owe meH
Drop yon blue bosomed veil of skyO
And show me the breasts o' her tendernessG
Never did any milk of hers once bless my thirsting mouthP
Nigh and nigh draws the chase with unperturbe d paceG
Deliberate speed majestic instancyG
And past those noise d feet a Voice comes yet more fleetH
Lo nought contentst thee who content'st nought MeH
Naked I wait thy Love's uplifted stroke My harness piece by pieceG
thou'st hewn from meH
And smitten me to my kneeH
I am defenceless utterlyH
I slept methinks and awokeO
And slowly gazing find me stripped in sleepR
In the rash lustihead of my young powersG
I shook the pillaring hoursG
and pulled my life upon meH
Grimed with smearsG
I stand amidst the dust o' the mounded yearsG
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heapR
My days have crackled and gone up in smokeO
Have puffed and burst like sunstarts on a streamS
Yeah faileth now even dream the dreamerD
and the lute the lutanistH
Even the linked fantasies in whose blossomy twistH
I swung the Earth a trinket at my wristH
Have yielded cords of all too weak accountH
For Earth with heavy grief so overplussedH
Ah is thy Love indeed a weedH
albeit an Amaranthine weedH
Suffering no flowers except its own to mountH
Ah must Designer InfiniteH
Ah must thou char the wood 'ere thou canst limn with itH
My freshness spent its wavering shower i' the dustH
And now my heart is as a broken fountH
Wherein tear drippings stagnate spilt down everD
From the dank thoughts that shiver upon the sighful branches of myO
Such is What is to beH
The pulp so bitter how shall taste the rindH
I dimly guess what Time in mists confoundsG
Yet ever and anon a trumpet soundsG
From the hid battlements of EternityH
Those shaken mists a space unsettleT
Then round the half glimpse d turrets slowly wash againQ
But not 'ere Him who summonethP
I first have seen enwoundH
With glooming robes purpureal Cypress crownedH
His name I know and what his trumpet saithP
Whether Man's Heart or Life it be that yield thee harvestH
Must thy harvest fields be dunged with rotten deathP
Now of that long pursuitH
Comes at hand the bruitH
That Voice is round me like a bursting SeaH
And is thy Earth so marredH
Shattered in shard on shardH
Lo all things fly thee for thou fliest meH
Strange piteous futile thingO
Wherefore should any set thee love apartH
Seeing none but I makes much of Naught He saidH
And human love needs human meritingO
How hast thou meritedH
Of all Man's clotted clay the dingiest clotH
Alack Thou knowest notH
How little worthy of any love thou artH
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble theeH
Save me save only meH
All which I took from thee I did'st but takeO
Not for thy harmsG
But just that thou might'st seek it in my armsG
All which thy childs mistake fancies as lostH
I have stored for thee at HomeU
Rise clasp my hand and comeV
Halts by me that FootfallW
Is my gloom after allW
Shade of His hand outstretched caressinglyW
Ah Fondest Blindest WeakestH
I am He whom thou seekestH
Thou dravest Love from thee who dravest MeH

Francis Thompson


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Robert Alley: I gladly and humbly share MY HOUND OF HEAVEN story as often as I can. Thank you Jesus for saving a rotten sinner like me.

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