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 estranged faces
That miss the many Splendored Thing.
—Francis Thompson (1859-1907)