Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ST. PAUL'S DAY, 1925, by CHARLES WILLIAM BRODRIBB

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ST. PAUL'S DAY, 1925, by            
First Line: Londoners all and citizens of empire
Last Line: Sworn to uphold him.
Subject(s): St. Paul's Cathedral, London

Londoners all and citizens of Empire,
Who beneath Paul's high benison protected
Ply the day's labour, busy and rejoicing,
Guard the Cathedral!

Faithful hands reared it when along the Thames-side
Nought remained standing—magazine or altar;
Faithful hearts pray'd then for a renewal,
And Wren achiev'd it

Grandly; nor spared magnificence to aid him,
And the great dome rose as his art commanded.
Yearly, so fable telleth us, the master
Came in his old age

Back to give thanks and meditate, beholding
How the pile soared, orbicular, columnar;
Then returned homewards happy not to linger
Where men assembled.

"Seek ye" (he speaks) "my monument? around you
Look." To-day that same epitaph proclaims him—
Architrave, cornice, pediment, the circling
Balcony's ambit.

What peril, but that pieties prevent it,
Now threatens? Erewhile on a time in earnest
Danger encompassed this, as ev'ry minor
Fane set about it:

Till the long years' imprisoning was over,
And the grateful bells rang again, triumphant,
—Sweet heralds post-haste on an angel errand—
Up to the welkin.

O'er the whole restless city Paul resounded,
High above rivals—the Clements, the Dunstans,
Margarets, Michaels, Katherines, his ancient
Dutiful henchmen.

Te Deum pealed he then aloft—his edict;
Te Deum peals yet, spreading airy witness
Of benign favours on a trusty London
Sworn to uphold him.

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