BLACK CAT POEMS
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Richard Chenevix Trench
Seemeth not Love at times so occupied
For thee, as though it cared for none beside?
To great and small things Love alike can reach,
And cares for each as all, and all as each.
Love of my bonds partook, that I might be
In turn partaker of its liberty.
Love found me in the wilderness, at cost
Of painful quests, when I myself had lost.
Love on its shoulders joyfully did lay
Me, weary with the greatness of my way.
Love lit the lamp and swept the house all round,
Till the lost money in the end was found.
Love the King's image there would stamp again,
Effaced in part, and soiled with rust and stain.
'Twas Love, whose quick and ever-watchful eye
The wanderer's first step homeward did espy.
From its own wardrobe Love gave word to bring
What things I needed--shoes, and robe, and ring.
Love threatens that it may not strike; and still
Unheeded, strikes, that so it may not kill.
Love set me up on high; when I grew vain
Of that my height, Love brought me down again.
Love often draws good for us from our ill,
Skilful to bless us even against our will.
The bond-servant of Love alone is free;
All other freedom is but slavery.
How far above all price Love's costly wine,
Which can the meanest chalice make divine!
Fear this effects, that I do not the ill,
Love more--that I thereunto have no will.
Seeds burst not their dark cells without a throe;
All birth is effort; shall not Love's be so?
Love weeps, but from its eyes these two things win
The largest tears--its own, its brother's sin.
The sweetness of the trodden camomile
Is Love's, which, injured, yields more sweets the while.
The heart of Love is with a thousand woes
Pierced, which secure indifference never knows.
The rose aye wears the silent thorn at heart,
And never yet might pain from Love depart.
Once o'er this painful earth a man did move,
The Man of griefs, because the Man of Love.
Hope, Faith, and Love at God's high altar shine,
Lamp triple-branched, and fed with oil divine.
Two of these triple-lights shall once grow pale,
They burn without, but Love within the veil.
Nothing is true but Love, nor aught of worth;
Love is the incense which doth sweeten earth.
O merchant at heaven's mart for heavenly ware,
Love is the only coin which passes there.
The wine of
can be obtained of none,
Save Him who trod the winepress all alone.
poems by Richard Chenevix Trench