Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
By John Mason Neale (1818–1866)
FOR thee, O dear dear Country!
  Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding
  Thy happy name, they weep:
The mention of thy glory        5
  Is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness,
  And love, and life, and rest.
O come, O onely Mansion!
  O Paradise of Joy!        10
Where tears are ever banish’d,
  And smiles have no alloy;
Beside thy living waters
  All plants are, great and small,
The cedar of the forest,        15
  The hyssop of the wall:
With jaspers glow thy bulwarks;
  Thy streets with emeralds blaze;
The sardius and the topaz
  Unite in thee their rays:        20
Thine ageless walls are bonded
  With amethyst unpriced:
Thy Saints build up its fabric,
  And the corner-stone is Christ.
The Cross is all thy splendour,        25
  The Crucified thy praise:
His laud and benediction
  Thy ransom’d people raise:
Jesus, the Gem of Beauty,
  True God and Man, they sing:        30
The never-failing Garden,
  The ever-golden Ring:
The Door, the Pledge, the Husband,
  The Guardian of his Court:
The Day-star of Salvation,        35
  The Porter and the Port.
Thou hast no shore, fair ocean!
  Thou hast no time, bright day!
Dear fountain of refreshment
  To pilgrims far away!        40
Upon the Rock of Ages
  They raise thy holy tower:
Thine is the victor’s laurel,
  And thine the golden dower:
Thou feel’st in mystic rapture,        45
  O Bride that know’st no guile,
The Prince’s sweetest kisses,
  The Prince’s loveliest smile:
Unfading lilies, bracelets
  Of living pearl thine own:        50
The Lamb is ever near thee,
  The Bridegroom thine alone:
The Crown is He to guerdon,
  The Buckler to protect,
And He Himself the Mansion,        55
  And He the Architect.
The only art thou needest,
  Thanksgiving for thy lot:
The only joy thou seekest,
  The Life where Death is not.        60
And all thine endless leisure
  In sweetest accents sings,
The ill that was thy merit,—
  The wealth that is thy King’s!
Jerusalem the golden,        65
  With milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation
  Sink heart and voice oppress’d:
I know not, O I know not,
  What social joys are there!        70
What radiancy of glory,
  What light beyond compare!
And when I fain would sing them
  My spirit fails and faints,
And vainly would it image        75
  The assembly of the Saints.
They stand, those halls of Syon,
  Conjubilant with song,
And bright with many an angel,
  And all the martyr throng:        80
The Prince is ever in them;
  The daylight is serene:
The pastures of the Blessèd
  Are deck’d in glorious sheen.
There is the Throne of David,        85
  And there, from care released,
The song of them that triumph,
  The shout of them that feast;
And they who, with their Leader
  Have conquer’d in the fight,        90
For ever and for ever
  Are clad in robes of white!
O holy, placid harp-notes
  Of that eternal hymn!
O sacred, sweet refection,        95
  And peace of Seraphim!
O thirst, for ever ardent,
  Yet evermore content!
O true, peculiar vision
  Of God cunctipotent!        100
Ye know the many mansions
  For many a glorious name
And divers retributions
  That divers merits claim:
For midst the constellations        105
  That deck our earthly sky,
This star than that is brighter,—
  And so it is on high.
Jerusalem the glorious!
  The glory of the Elect!        110
O dear and future vision
  That eager hearts expect:
Even now by faith I see thee
  Even here thy walls discern:
To thee my thoughts are kindled,        115
  And strive and pant and yearn:
Jerusalem the onely,
  That look’st from heaven below,
In thee is all my glory;
  In me is all my woe!        120
And though my body may not,
  My spirit seeks thee fain,
Till flesh and earth return me
  To earth and flesh again.
O none can tell thy bulwarks,        125
  How gloriously they rise:
O none can tell thy capitals
  Of beautiful device:
Thy loveliness oppresses
  All human thought and heart:        130
And none, O peace, O Syon,
  Can sing thee as thou art.
New mansion of new people,
  Whom God’s own love and light
Promote, increase, make holy,        135
  Identify, unite.
Thou City of the Angels!
  Thou City of the Lord!
Whose everlasting music
  Is the glorious decachord!        140
And there the band of Prophets
  United praise ascribes,
And there the twelvefold chorus
  Of Israel’s ransom’d tribes:
The lily-beds of virgins,        145
  The roses’ martyr-glow,
The cohort of the Fathers
  Who kept the faith below!
And there the Sole-Begotten
  Is Lord in regal state;        150
He, Judah’s mystic Lion,
  He, Lamb Immaculate.
O fields that know no sorrow!
  O state that fears no strife!
O princely bow’rs! O land of flow’rs!        155
  O realm and home of Life!

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