Poem – All Fresh – Francis Thompson  

I do not need the skies’ 

Pomp, when I would be wise; 

For pleasaunce nor to use 

Heaven’s champaign when I muse. 

One grass-blade in its veins 

Wisdom’s whole flood contains; 

Thereon my foundering mind 

Odyssean fate can find. 
O little blade, now vaunt 

Thee, and be arrogant! 

Tell the proud sun that he 

Sweated in shaping thee; 

Night, that she did unvest 

Her mooned and argent breast 

To suckle thee. Heaven fain 
Yearned over thee in rain, 

And with wide parent wing 

Shadowed thee, nested thing, 

Fed thee, and slaved for thy 

Impotent tyranny. 

Nature’s broad thews bent 

Meek for thy content. 

Mastering littleness 

Which the wise heavens confess, 

The frailty which doth draw 

Magnipotence to its law– 

These were, O happy one, these 

Thy laughing puissances! 
Be confident of thought, 

Seeing that thou art naught; 

And be thy pride thou’rt all 

Delectably safe and small. 

Epitomized in thee 

Was the mystery 

Which shakes the spheres conjoint– 

God focussed to a point. 
All thy fine mouths shout 

Scorn upon dull-eyed doubt. 

Impenetrable fool 

Is he thou canst not school 

To the humility 

By which the angels see! 

Unfathomably framed 

Sister, I am not shamed 
Before the cherubin 

To vaunt my flesh thy kin. 

My one hand thine, and one 

Imprisoned in God’s own, 

I am as God; alas, 

And such a god of grass! 

A little root clay-caught, 

A wind, a flame, a thought, 

Inestimably naught!

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