Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THE COMING OF THE LORD, by EDWARD CARPENTER



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TOWARDS DEMOCRACY: PART 3. THE COMING OF THE LORD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I heard a voice saying
Last Line: I the lord demos have spoken it: and the mountains are my throne.
Subject(s): Love; Religion; Worship; Theology


I HEARD a voice saying:
Son of Man stretch forth thy hand over the earth—and over the
sea-coasts and seas and cities of the earth:
I, the King, am come to dwell in my own lands—I am descended among the
children of men.
[Blessed art thou whosoever from whose eyes the veil is lifted to see Me;
Blessed are thy mornings and evenings—blessed the hour when thou
risest up, and again when thou liest down to sleep.]

Here on this rock in the sun, where the waves obedient wash at my feet,
where the fisherman passing spreads his net on the sands,
I the King sit waiting.
This mountain is my throne—I breathe the incense of the myriad-laden
meadows;
The little white-washed cottages lie below me, and there my dwelling is
also.

2

See you not Me? though I stand in the height of heaven,
Glorious in all forms, am I become as a nothing before you?
Though I walk through the street with a basket on my arm, or leaning on a
stick—or loiter in many disguises?
See you not Me,
Who have looked in your eyes so long for that glance of recognition?
Yet when you see me no form of maid or boy, or one mature or aged,
Or the truth of anything shall escape you.

In the streets of the cities, where the horses' hoofs sound hollow upon the
asphalte, and the old woman sit? by her tray,
And the babble of voices goes by as you stand at the corner,
I will pass with the rest—you shall see me and not mistake me.
The woods no more shall be merely a cover for wild animals, or so much
value in timber, nor the fields for their crops alone,
For I have trodden them—they are holy-and my footprints are over all
the land.

Who walks in singleness of heart shall be my companion-I will reveal myself
to him by ways that the learned understand not.
Though he be poor and ignorant I will be his friend —I will swear
faithfulness to him, passing my lips to his, and my hand to betwixt his thighs.

3

Where I pass, all my children know me.
My feet tread naked the grass of the valleys, the trees know me by
name—they hear my voice—the brook with heaped up waters rushes past
me.
[O voices breaking out over the earth, O singing singing singing!]
My sun shines glorious in heaven, and my moon to adorn the night;
They are my right hand and my left hand—see you not Me between?
[Hark! my children sing—all day and night they are singing!]

4

O child—you whom I touch now, having watched over you so long, so
long—
Are you worthy to follow and behold me?

Leaving all, leaving all behind,
Caring no more for the world, for all your projects and purposes, than if
you had been stunned by a blow on the head,
Leaving all to me, absolutely all to me,
Then may-be you shall see me.

For though you shall carry on where you are placed, and shall not forsake
your post, though you shall be unwearied, giving all that you have out of love
to the least capable of making a return, though you shall be active before the
world,
Yet shall you not act at all, not one single thing shall you do— but I
will do it for you.

After that the arrows shall not pierce you, nor the heavy rain wet you, the
shafts of malice shall not penetrate to you, nor the fire though it consume your
body shall consume you;
But the sun shall shine, and the faces glance each morning afresh upon you,

For joy, for joy— and joy.
I the Lord Demos have spoken it: and the mountains are my throne.





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