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Alfred H. Miles, ed. The Sacred Poets of the Nineteenth Century. 1907.

By Poems. III. Sense, Faith, and Glory

Aubrey de Vere (1814–1902)

THREE worlds there are:—the first of Sense—

That sensuous earth which round us lies;

The next of Faith’s Intelligence:

The third of Glory in the skies.

The first is palpable, but base:

The second heavenly, but obscure;

The third is star-like in the face—

But ah! remote that world as pure!

Yet, glancing through our misty clime,

Some sparkles from that loftier sphere

Make way to earth; then most what time

The annual spring flowers appear.

Amid the coarser needs of earth

All shapes of brightness, what are they

But wanderers, exiled from their birth,

Or pledges of a happier day?

Yea, what is Beauty, judged aright,

But some surpassing, transient gleam;

Some smile from heaven, in waves of light,

Rippling o’er life’s distempered dream?

Or broken memories of that bliss

Which rushed through first-born Nature’s blood

When He who ever was, and is,

Looked down, and saw that all was good?