Seeing these Olympic games, opened as they were by Christian hymns, and being enamored by the sites of London on the River Thames, has brought to mind so many thoughts about the history of this great people and how the British have given so freely to the rest of the world.

Great Britain was the cradle of many world-changing movements of a social, political and religious nature. They also nearly crumbled under the strain of having fought both 20th century World Wars and literally losing tens of millions of men, women and children between the two conflicts. Freedom, peace and prosperity preserved for the time being.

One of the most important contributions the world will forever be grateful for is found in the great depth and breadth of literature that so many great men and women of the Realm produced over so many centuries. From science to philosophy and from story to poetry, the riches that the British have given to us all simply cannot be overrated or overstated.

Thinking about all of this today brought to mind one of the sweetest poems I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. It was written in the late 1800’s by an English, drug-addicted Christian poet named Francis Thompson. A poet who was once proclaimed by the press to be greater than Milton himself. Which, by British standards at the time, would have been tantamount to proclaiming him a demigod. The Poem is simply called “The Kingdom of God”. I hope you enjoy it.

The Kingdom of God
by Francis Thompson

O WORLD invisible, we view thee,
O world intangible, we touch thee,
O world unknowable, we know thee,
Inapprehensible, we clutch thee!

Does the fish soar to find the ocean,
The eagle plunge to find the air–
That we ask of the stars in motion
If they have rumor of thee there?

Not where the wheeling systems darken,
And our benumbed conceiving soars!–
The drift of pinions, would we hearken,
Beats at our own clay-shuttered doors.

The angels keep their ancient places–
Turn but a stone and start a wing!
‘Tis ye, ’tis your estrangèd faces,
That miss the many-splendored thing.

But (when so sad thou canst not sadder)
Cry–and upon thy so sore loss
Shall shine the traffic of Jacob’s ladder
Pitched betwixt Heaven and Charing Cross.

Yea, in the night, my Soul, my daughter,
Cry–clinging to Heaven by the hems;
And lo, Christ walking on the water,
Not of Genesareth, but Thames!

For some of Thompson’s other works, including “The Hound of Heaven” click here.

Thanks England!
Keep calm, carry on.

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