The Pagan in the Christian Heaven

The purple amaranth in heaven blooms,
Between the golden paving-stones,
And all along the sea of crystal glass,
And round about the Elders' thrones,
And when before that greatest Throne of all
They cast their clanging crowns of gold,
The fadeless blossoms of the amaranth,
Lightly the heavy rings uphold.

And on the city's jewelled walls they wave,
Clad in immortal violet.
But I who love not cities love not them,
And in my heart is sore regret
For that fair, fading, many-petalled rose
A traveller upon earth did sing:
Below Mount Bermion it blows and doth adorn
The garden of an earthly King.

Oh, if some dream all unangelical
The Holy City would but dim,
From these poor eyes so aching with its glare, —
Would waft me to the shaggy rim
Of the dear, darkling, thrice beloved earth,
Whispering: " Here death is death, "
How would I kiss its fragrant mould for joy,
And like a lover drink its breath!

With what high heart if for a little while
My glad sweet dreaming should not pass —
Would I set forth on happy feet that thrilled
To feel once more the pleasant grass,
Would I set forth to find that earthly flower,
The tender, many-petalled rose,
Which all unlike the deathless amaranth,
Now sweetly fades, now sweetly blows.

Yea, its soft petals cool against my eyes,
Were worth all jewelled pomp of Paradise,
For I am that King, that most heaven-weary one
Whose garden lay below Mount Bermion.
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