Sagas of Vaster Britain: Poems of the Race, the Empire and the Divinity of Man

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

THE ELUDING ANGEL


 

SWEETER than music,
Stronger than joy,
Rarer than knowledge
    For all worlds fain;
Ever recurring,
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Clings to the heart
That high and poignant
    Poetical pain:—

Heard in the under-
Tones of the springtime,

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Under the sigh of
     The leaves and the grass,
Under the refluent
    Winds as they pass.

Something akin to

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The whisper of silence,
The magic of moonlight,
    The sadness of art;
The anguish of battle;
The triumph of heroes
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Lying so cold in
    The dead tomb’s heart.

So it lies under
All of our yearning,
Deepest, remotest,

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    And subtlest of all;
Like to the pinions
Of some dim angel,
Ever eluding
Our wild pursuing,
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Eternally echoing
    Our vain call.