Monday, 12 January 2009

Dominus Illuminatio Mea

Photograph Ida Kingsbury

Crossing round fair Egeria's fount,
Large Southern Transept meets our eye,
And pillars and pointed arches mount
With stately symmetry on high,
And the same plan and forms abide,
Which form our Northern Transept's side ;
But here, on either hand disposed,
Delhi screens do stand disclosed
Screens of that wondrous work which high
Decks our Indian Gallery :--
How shine ye 'neath our magic light,
Spoils of the glowing East ! How bright
Sparkles your snowy radiancy,
Sculptured marble filigree !
Lo, on our left, a chamber rare !
Decorate with charms of art -- Ah there
Doth stand within ye hallowed shrine,
Diverse with varied marbles show,
Form of a blesséd saint I trow,
On whose hal-parted lips aglow
With love scarce earthly, sith divine
Is their expression, clingeth still
Mute influence of th' Ineffable ;
For on his clasping arm doth sit
The Child-God, Man's Redeeemer ! Lit
His countenance by a sunny smile
Of innocence and love the while,
The saint doth bend his wondering sight
On him sole fount of Life and Light --
Child -- yet th' Eternal Infinite !

Listen, fairies mine !
'Vathek' bade it start
Into life divine
This gem of sculptured art !

Vathek snatched a wreath
From Fate for Rossi's brows,
What time he did bequeth
This task to him with vows
Proffered to Anthony,
Mysterious saint who quells the singings of the sea !

For Vathek lived again,
Triumphing o'er the wave ;
Plucking from the raging main,
Where yawned his coral grave !
And long this proud one kept,
In blazened 'Sanctuary,'
His gem, but years have swept
Its venturous history :

Long lost, now found by spell
Of Fay's puissant word,
The saint returns to dwell
Where Vathek once was lord !

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