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90139: 'The City Lights'

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posted on 2024-04-23, 10:08 authored by First World War Poetry Digital Archive Project Team

The city lights along the waterside
Kindled serene as blessèd candleshine.
The fires of western heaven, far and wide,
Rose like the reredos of a mighty shrine.
Slow swung the odorous trees from side to side,
Like censers, twining twilight mist for fume;
And on the mountain, that high altar-tomb,
The sun stood full of wine, blood-sanctified
Soft, soft as angels mounting starry stairs
The smoke upclomb to space; the while a wind
Sung like an organ voicing many prayers.
I, sliding beads, mine errors to rescind,
Of slowly slipping tears, heard God, who cares,
Ineffable God, give pardon that I sinned.

History

Creator

Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918)

Date

1917-11

Source

The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen edited by Jon Stallworthy first published by Chatto & Windus, 1983 (#12, CPF vol. 1, p. 15, vol. 2, p. 26) OEF 253; OED 254-6; BL 1.12

Rights

The Estate of Wilfred Owen. The Complete Poems and Fragments of Wilfred Owen edited by Jon Stallworthy first published by Chatto & Windus, 1983. Preliminaries, introductory, editorial matter, manuscripts and fragments omitted.

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    The Wilfred Owen Collection

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