December 23, 2011

The Hound of Heaven

The funny thing about breaks is that they always seem to be busier than "normal" life. This week my inspiration has been divided pretty evenly between The White Sail's Shaking (the first draft has passed Wordcrafter in length - much excitement) and devising pretty ways of wrapping packages, but I did want to bend my mind toward a Christmas blog post. Being late to get around to it means that I have already seen quite a number of Christmas-themed posts, most of which deal (naturally) with Jesus Christ's birth. Therefore I am going to depart from the usual and post just a small portion of the long, lovely poem The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson.

the hound of heaven

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat--and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet--
"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me."

... Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
"And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing,
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught," He said,
"And human love needs human meriting,
How hast thou merited--
Of all man's clotted clay rhe dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms.
But just that thou might'st seek it in my arms.
All which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for the at home;
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!"

Halts by me that footfall;
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstreched caressingly?
"Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me."

I am not usually a fan of poetry, as I know I've mentioned before. And yet this one captured at least an element of the majesty, the satisfaction, the glory of God in His redemptive work - the power of His grace that pursues unhurriedly and deliberately until it has gained its object. The grace of God is omnipotent, not impotent. Jesus Christ is King, the King of Glory. In this season we remember His incarnation and birth in Bethlehem; but let us not focus on the Child and lose sight of the Man, the righteous Man who has redeemed His people and sat down on the right hand of God in majesty.


  1. Awesome post, Abigail! I'm not fond of poetry either mostly because I'm not good at creating my own and I was never good at it in English. Anyway, aside from that, this one was really pretty. Thanks for sharing it with us. I hope you and your family have a Happy Christmas! You have been such a blessing to me this year and I'm thankful that I found your blog and through that struck up a great friendship with you via email.

  2. Amazing poem -- I know it was very instrumental in the salvation of actor Dean Jones, and after reading it I can see why. It's very powerful!

    A very merry Christmas to you, my dear, and thank you for all the wonderful posts! Meeting you was one of the highlights of my year. God bless you! :)

  3. Oh, that is beautiful.

    Thank you. I could not ask for any other Christmas present. ^.^


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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