Saturday, 8 October 2011

Each man's holiest hour, And all the lit confusion of our days

This is Rudyard Kipling's sonnet 'Chartres Windows', with pictures of windows from Doddington, Kent. They might not be Chartres (I've never been) but they're pretty good.

Colour fulfils where Music has no power:
By each man's light the unjudging glass betrays
All men's surrender, each man's holiest hour
And all the lit confusion of our days-
Purfled with iron, traced in dusk and fire,
Challenging ordered Time who, at the last,
Shall bring it, grozed and leaded and wedged fast,
To the cold stone that curbs or crowns desire.
Yet on the pavement that all feet have trod-
Even as the Spirit, in her deeps and heights,
Turns only, and that voiceless, to her God-
There falls no tincture from those anguished lights.
And Heaven's one light, behind them, striking through
Blazons what each man dreamed no other knew.

(purfled is a strange word. Apparently it means 'decorated with an ornamental border'.)

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