Meditation At Perugia

A poem by Duncan Campbell Scott

The sunset colours mingle in the sky,
And over all the Umbrian valleys flow;
Trevi is touched with wonder, and the glow
Finds high Perugia crimson with renown;
Spello is bright;
And, ah! St. Francis, thy deep-treasured town,
Enshrined Assisi, fully fronts the light.

This valley knew thee many a year ago;
Thy shrine was built by simpleness of heart;
And from the wound called life thou drew'st the smart:
Unquiet kings came to thee and the sad poor -
Thou gavest them peace;
Far as the Sultan and the Iberian shore
Thy faith and abnegation gave release.

Deeper our faith, but not so sweet as thine;
Wider our view, but not so sanely sure;
For we are troubled by the witching lure
Of Science, with her lightning on the mist;
Science that clears,
Yet never quite discloses what she wist,
And leaves us half with doubts and half with fears.

We act her dreams that shadow forth the truth,
That somehow here the very nerves of God
Thrill the old fires, the rocks, the primal sod;
We throw our speech upon the open air,
And it is caught
Far down the world, to sing and murmur there;
Our common words are with deep wonder fraught.

Shall not the subtle spirit of man contrive
To charm the tremulous ether of the soul,
Wherein it breathes? - until, from pole to pole,
Those who are kin shall speak, as face to face,
From star to star,
Even from earth to the most secret place,
Where God and the supreme archangels are.

Shall we not prove, what thou hast faintly taught,
That all the powers of earth and air are one,
That one deep law persists from mole to sun?
Shall we not search the heart of God and find
That law empearled,
Until all things that are in matter and mind
Throb with the secret that began the world?

Yea, we have journeyed since thou trod'st the road,
Yet still we keep the foreappointed quest;
While the last sunset smoulders in the West,
Still the great faith with the undying hope
Upsprings and flows,
While dim Assisi fades on the wide slope
And the deep Umbrian valleys fill with rose.

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