Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  From “A Christmas Hymn”

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Alfred Domett 1811–87

From “A Christmas Hymn”

TO murder one so young!

To still that wonder-teeming tongue

Ere half the fulness of its mellow’d glory

Had flash’d in mild sheet-lightnings forth!

Who knows, had that majestic Life grown hoary,

Long vers’d in all man’s weakness, woes and worth,

What beams had pierced the clouds that veil this voyage of care!

Not Zeus, nor Baal’s throne,

Nor Osiris alone,

But Doubt, or worse assurance of Despair,

Or Superstition’s brood that blends the tiger with the hare.

Who knows but we had caught

Some hint from pure impassion’d Thought,

How Matter’s links and Spirit’s, that still fly us,

Can break and still leave Spirit free;

How Will can act o’ermaster’d by no bias;

Why Good omnipotent lets Evil be;

What balm heals beauteous Nature’s universal flaw;

And how, below, above,

It is Love, and only Love

Bids keen Sensation glut Destruction’s maw—

Love rolls this groaning Sea of Life on pitiless rocks of Law!