New Year's Chimes

Original Text: 
Francis Thompson, The Works of Francis Thompson. Poems, 2 vols. (ew York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913): II, 29-31. PR 5650 A1 1913c Robarts Library
1What is the song the stars sing?
2(And a million songs are as song of one)
3This is the song the stars sing:
4(Sweeter song's none)
5One to set, and many to sing,
6(And a million songs are as song of one)
7One to stand, and many to cling,
8The many things, and the one Thing,
9The one that runs not, the many that run.
10The ever new weaveth the ever old,
11(And a million songs are as song of one)
12Ever telling the never told;
13The silver saith, and the said is gold,
14And done ever the never done.
15The chase that's chased is the Lord o' the chase,
16(And a million songs are as song of one)
17And the pursued cries on the race;
18And the hounds in leash are the hounds that run.
19Hidden stars by the shown stars' sheen:
20(And a million suns are but as one)
21Colours unseen by the colours seen,
22And sounds unheard heard sounds between,
23And a night is in the light of the sun.
24An ambuscade of lights in night,
25(And a million secrets are but as one)
26And anight is dark in the sun's light,
27And a world in the world man looks upon.
28Hidden stars by the shown stars' wings,
29(And a million cycles are but as one)
30And a world with unapparent strings
31Knits the stimulant world of things;
32Behold, and vision thereof is none.
33The world above in the world below,
34(And a million worlds are but as one)
35And the One in all; as the sun's strength so
36Strives in all strength, glows in all glow
37Of the earth that wits not, and man thereon.
38Braced in its own fourfold embrace
39(And a million strengths are as strength of one)
40And round it all God's arms of grace,
41The world, so as the Vision says,
42Doth with great lightning-tramples run.
43And thunder bruiteth into thunder,
44(And a million sounds are as sound of one)
45From stellate peak to peak is tossed a voice of wonder,
46And the height stoops down to the depths thereunder,
47And sun leans forth to his brother-sun.
48And the more ample years unfold
49(With a million songs as song of one)
50A little new of the ever old,
51A little told of the never told,
52Added act of the never done.
53Loud the descant, and low the theme,
54(A million songs are as song of one)
55And the dream of the world is dream in dream,
56But the one Is is, or nought could seem;
57And the song runs round to the song begun.
58This is the song the stars sing,
59(Tonèd all in time)
60Tintinnabulous, tuned to ring
61A multitudinous-single thing
62(Rung all in rhyme).
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1996-2000.