Lionel Johnson

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Lonely, unto the Lone I go;
Divine, to the Divinity.

Lionel Pigot Johnson (15 March 18674 October 1902) was an English poet, essayist and critic.

Quotes[edit]

What comes now? The earth awaits
What fierce wonder from the skies?
Morning, from the springs of light:
Thunder, round Heaven's opening gates.
  • Ill times may be; she hath no thought of time:
    She reigns beside the waters yet in pride.

    Rude voices cry: but in her ears the chime
    Of full, sad bells brings back her old springtide.

    Like to a queen in pride of place, she wears
    The splendour of a crown in Radcliffe's dome.
    Well fare she, well! As perfect beauty fares;
    And those high places, that are beauty's home.

    • "Oxford"
  • The winds are sometimes sad to me,
    The starry spaces, full of fear;
    Mine is the sorrow on the sea,
    And mine the sigh of places drear.

    Some players upon plaintive strings
    Publish their wistfulness abroad;
    I have not spoken of these things,
    Save to one man, and unto God.

    • "The Precept of Silence"

The Age of a Dream (1890)[edit]

Imageries of dreams reveal a gracious age…
  • Now from the broken tower, what solemn bell still tolls,
    Mourning what piteous death? Answer, O saddened souls!
    Who mourn the death of beauty and the death of grace.

By the Statue of King Charles at Charing Cross (1895)[edit]

Alone he rides, alone,
The fair and fatal king
King, tried in fires of woe!
Men hunger for thy grace
  • Vanquished in life, his death
    By beauty made amends:
    The passing of his breath
    Won his defeated ends.
  • King, tried in fires of woe!
    Men hunger for thy grace:
    And through the night I go,
    Loving thy mournful face.

    Yet, when the city sleeps;
    When all the cries are still:
    The stars and heavenly deeps
    Work out a perfect will.

The Dark Angel (1895)[edit]

Dark Angel, with thine aching lust To rid the world of penitence: Malicious Angel, who still dost My soul such subtile violence!
Through thee, the gracious Muses turn, To Furies, O mine Enemy!
Thou poisonest the fair design Of nature, with unfair device.
Full text at Wikisource
  • Through thee, the gracious Muses turn,
    To Furies, O mine Enemy!
    And all the things of beauty burn
    With flames of evil ecstasy.

    Because of thee, the land of dreams
    Becomes a gathering place of fears
    :
    Until tormented slumber seems
    One vehemence of useless tears.

  • The ardour of red flame is thine,
    And thine the steely soul of ice:
    Thou poisonest the fair design
    Of nature, with unfair device.

    Apples of ashes, golden bright;
    Waters of bitterness, how sweet!
    O banquet of a foul delight,
    Prepared by thee, dark Paraclete!

  • Thou art the whisper in the gloom,
    The hinting tone, the haunting laugh:
    Thou art the adorner of my tomb,
    The minstrel of mine epitaph.
  • I fight thee, in the Holy Name!
    Yet, what thou dost, is what God saith:
    Tempter! should I escape thy flame,
    Thou wilt have helped my soul from Death:

    The second Death, that never dies,
    That cannot die, when time is dead
    :
    Live Death, wherein the lost soul cries,
    Eternally uncomforted.

External links[edit]

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