Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
Auras of Delight
By Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)
BEAUTIFUL habitations, auras of delight!
Who shall bewail the crags and bitter foam
And angry sword-blades flashing left and right
Which guard your glittering height,
That none thereby may come!        5
The vision which we have
Revere we so,
That yet we crave
To foot those fields of ne’er-profanèd snow?…
And Him I thank, who can make live again,        10
The dust, but not the joy we once profane,
That I, of ye,
Beautiful habitations, auras of delight,
In childish years and since had sometime sense and sight,
But that ye vanish’d quite,        15
Even from memory,
Ere I could get my breath, and whisper ‘See!’
  But did for me
They altogether die,
Those trackless glories glimps’d in upper sky?        20
Were they of chance, or vain,
Nor good at all again
For curb of heart or fret?
Nay, though, by grace,
Lest haply I refuse God to His face,        25
Their likeness wholly I forget,
Ah! yet,
Often in straits which else for me were ill,
I mind me still
I did respire the lonely auras sweet,        30
I did the blest abodes behold, and, at the mountains’ feet,
Bathed in the holy Stream by Hermon’s thymy hill.

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