Near or far,
To each other are linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star...” —English Catholic poet Francis Thompson (1859–1907), "The Mistress of Vision" (ca.1897)
Thompson’s 182-line ode “The Hound of Heaven” is longer (and, surprisingly, such a favorite of Eugene O’Neill’s that the playwright could recite this ode from memory). But “The Mistress of Vision” has its own fierce, concentrated energy. No wonder that Patricia Schnapp, in a overview of his career, called Thompson “The Poet of the Return to God.” In addition to O’Neill, the likes of Oscar Wilde, G. K. Chesterton, and James Dickey have been inspired by his work.
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