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So shows my soul before the Lamb,

My spirit before Thee;
So in mine earthly house I am,

To that I hope to be.
Break up the heavens, O Lord ! and far,

Thro' all yon starlight keen,
Draw me, thy bride, a glittering star,

In raiment white and clean.

He lifts me to the golden doors ;

The flashes come and go ;
All heaven bursts her starry floors,

And strows her lights below,
And deepens on and up! the gates

Roll back, and far within For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,

To make me pure of sin. The sabbaths of Eternity,

One sabbath deep and wideA light upon the shining sea

The Bridegroom with his bride!


My good blade carves the casques of men,

My tough lance thrusteth sure,
My strength is as the strength of ten,

Because my heart is pure.
The shattering trumpet shrilleth high,

The hard brands shiver on the steel, The splinter'd spear-shafts crack and fly

The horse and rider reel :
They reel, they roll in clanging lists,

And when the tide of combat stands,
Perfume and flowers fall in showers,

That lightly rain from ladies' hands.

How sweet are looks that ladies bend

On whom their favours fall ! For them I battle till the end,

To save from shame and thrall :

But all my heart is drawn above,

My knees are bow'd in crypt and shrine : I never felt the kiss of love,

Nor maiden's hand in mine.
More bounteous aspects on me beam,

Me mightier transports move and thrill; So keep I fair thro' faith and prayer

A virgin heart in work and will.

When down the stormy crescent goes,

A light before me swims,
Between dark stems the forest glows,

I hear a noise of hymns :
Then by some secret shrine I ride ;

I hear a voice, but none are there ;
The stalls are void, the doors are wide,

The tapers burning fair.
Fair gleams the snowy altar-cloth,

The silver vessels sparkle clean,
The shrill bell rings, the censer swings,

And solemn chaunts resound between.

Sometimes on lonely mountain-meres

I find a magic bark ;
I leap on board : no helmsman steers :

I float till all is dark.

A gentle sound, an awful light!

Three angels bear the holy Grail :
With folded feet, in stoles of white,

On sleeping wings they sail.
Ah, blessed vision ! blood of God !

My spirit beats her mortal bars,
As down dark tides the glory slides,

And star-like mingles with the stars.

When on my goodly charger borne

Thro' dreaming towns I go,
The cock crows ere the Christmas morn,

The streets are dumb with snow.
The tempest crackles on the leads,

And, ringing, springs from brand and mail ; But o'er the dark a glory spreads,

And gilds the driving hail.
I leave the plain, I climb the height;

No branchy thicket shelter yields ;
But blessed forms in whistling storms

Fly o'er waste fens and windy fields.

A maiden knight—to me is given

Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven

That often meet me here.

I muse on joy that will not cease,

Pure spaces clothed in living beams, Pure lilies of eternal peace,

Whose odours haunt my dreams; And, stricken by an angel's hand,

This mortal armour that I wear, This weight and size, this heart and eyes,

Are touch'd, are turnd to finest air.

The clouds are broken in the sky,

And thro' the mountain-walls
A rolling organ-harmony


and shakes and falls. Then move the trees, the copses

Wings flutter, voices hover clear:
“O just and faithful knight of God !

Ride on! the prize is near.”
So pass I hostel, hall, and grange;

By bridge and ford, by park and pale, All-arm'd I ride, whate'er betide,

Until I find the holy Grail

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