Verse > Anthologies > The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse > 82. From ‘The Quest of the Sangraal’
Nicholson & Lee, eds.  The Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse. 1917.
82. From ‘The Quest of the Sangraal’
By Robert Stephen Hawker  (1803–1875)
THEN came Sir Joseph, hight, of Arimathèe,
Bearing that awful vase, the Sangraal!
The vessel of the Pasch, Shere Thursday night:
The selfsame Cup, wherein the faithful Wine
Heard God, and was obedient unto Blood!        5
Therewith he knelt, and gathered blessèd drops
From his dear Master’s Side that sadly fell,
The ruddy dews from the great Tree of Life:
Sweet Lord! what treasures! like the priceless gems,
Hid in the tawny casket of a king—       10
A ransom for an army, one by one.
That wealth he cherished long; his very soul
Around his ark; bent, as before a shrine!
He dwelt in orient Syria: God’s own land:
The ladder-foot of heaven—where shadowy shapes       15
In white apparel glided up and down!
His home was like a garner, full of corn
And wine and oil: a granary of God!
Young men, that no one knew, went in and out,
With a far look in their eternal eyes!       20
All things were strange and rare: the Sangraal
As though it clung to some etherial chain,
Brought down high heaven to earth at Arimathèe.
He lived long centuries! and prophesied.
A girded pilgrim ever and anon:       25
Cross-staff in hand, and folded at his side,
The mystic marvel of the feast of blood!
Once in old time he stood in this dear land,
Enthralled:—for lo! a sign! his grounded staff
Took root, and branched, and bloomed, like Aaron’s rod;       30
Thence came the shrine, the cell: therefore he dwelt,
The vassal of the vase, at Avalon!



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