Sunday, November 2, 2014

Francis Thompson: Motto and Invocation

I thought of Francis Thompson's little known "Motto and Invocation" as the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls were celebrated this weekend. Thompson was a nineteenth century author and poet whose most famous poem is the "Hound of Heaven."

                MOTTO & INVOCATION
St. John’s Gospel, chap. I, v. 3, abbreviated

Pardon, O Saint John Divine,
That I change a word of thee—
None the less, aid thou me!
And Siena’s Catharine !
Lofty Doctor, Augustine,
Glorious penitent ! And be
Assisi’s Francis also mine !
Mine be Padua’s Anthony ;
And that other Francis, he
Called of Sales ! Let all combine
To counsel (of great charity)
What I write ! Thy wings incline,
Ah my Angel, o’er the line !
Last and first, O Queen Mary,
Of thy white Immaculacy,
If my work may profit aught,
Fill with lilies every thought !
I surmise
What is white will then be wise.
To which I add : Thomas More,
Teach (thereof my need is sore)
What thou showed well on earth—
Good writ, good wit, make goodly mirth !


Holbein: Thomas More

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