"'Why did you choose Thompson?'
"'Well, he is quite a famous poet.'
"'What kind of poet is he?'
"'We might call him a mystic.'
"'Is he a mystic of the orthodox sort, like Cynewulf or Crashaw; or an unorthodox mystic, like Blake or Shelley?'
"'Oh, he's orthodox.'
"'Well, now, what do you consider his greatest production?'
"'Why, I should say "The Hound of Heaven."
"'Well, what on earth does Thompson mean by that Hound?'
"'He means God.'
"'But is not that a rather irreverent way for Thompson to be talking about God, calling Him a hound? What does he mean by comparing God to a hound?'
"'Well, he means the pursuit of God.'
"'Oh, I see, Thompson is pursuing God, is he?'
"'Oh, no. He is rather running away from God.'
"'Well, then, God is pursuing Thompson, is that it?'
"'Yes, that's it.'
"'Well, then, how can God be going after Thompson? Is it a physical pursuit?'
"'No. It is a moral pursuit.'
"'A moral pursuit! What's that? What is God after?'"'He is after Thompson's love
- Now of that long pursuit
- Comes on at hand the bruit ;
- That Voice is round me like a bursting sea :
- "And is thy earth so marred,
- Shattered in shard on shard ?
- Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest me !
- "Strange, piteous, futile thing !
- Wherefore should any set thee love apart ?
- Seeing none but I makes much of naught" (He said),
- "And human love needs human meriting :
- How hast thou merited --
- Of all man's clotted clay the dingiest clot ?
- Alack, thou knowest not
- How little worthy of any love thou art !
- Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
- Save Me, save only Me ?
- All which I took from thee I did but take,
- Not for thy harms,
- But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms.
- All which thy child's mistake
- Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home :
- Rise, clasp My hand, and come !"
- Halts by me that footfall :
- Is my gloom, after all,
- Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly ?
- "Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
- I am He Whom thou seekest !
- Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest me." (you drove off those who love you)