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

By Sonnets. I. Presentiment

James Drummond Burns (1823–1864)

HAST thou not felt when journeying to the place

Whence some clear prospect might before thee lie,-

Some gleam of beauty,—to reward the eye,

For long dull leagues of dreary interspace,

A strange desire to mend thy lagging pace,

Which still grew stronger as the scene drew nigh,

Till one could fret at the necessity

Which bound him in the senses’ strict embrace?

Such is the inward yearning of the soul

Towards the vision of the Infinite,

When Time’s thick folded mists at last unroll;

It strives to cast aside each earthly bond,

And scale the ridge between it and the light

Of God that sleeps on blessèd lands beyond.