Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A CATHEDRAL, a poem

ALL SAINTS' DAY IN THE GREAT NORTH WOODS

IT rises by a frozen mere,
With nave and transepts of the pines
That towering 'mid the snows appear
Majestic and sublime;
While, with a myriad fair designs
Of feathery-tufted tracery,
Their tops adorn with silver rime
The azure vault's immensity.

Rock-piled, the altar to the East
Lies argent-spread; on either hand—
Meek servers at the lonely feast—
Surpliced and tall the birches stand,
Like ghostly acolytes,
And through ice-mailèd branches pass,
Prismatic from celestial heights,
The tints of mediæval glass.

Awed, as in no cathedral raised
By human thought, alone, and still,
I muse on one who dying praised
The God of Being, here:
On him who welcomed with a will
The gift of life, the boon of death,—
The while he heard, deep-toned and near,
The solemn forest's organ-breath.*
*Robert Louis Stevenson at Saranac.
"A Cathedral" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in The Unconquered Air (1912) and Poems (1916) Volume I.

From October 1887 to April 1888, Robert Louis Stevenson and his family occupied what is now referred to as "Stevenson Cottage" while recovering from a lung ailment.

No comments:

Post a Comment