Comfortable Light

John Freeman 1880 – 1929

Most comfortable Light,
Light of the small lamp burning up the night,
With dawn enleagued against the beaten dark;
Pure golden perfect spark;

Or sudden wind-bright flame,
That but the strong-handed wind can urge or tame;
Chill loveliest light the kneeling clouds between,
Silverly serene;

Comfort of happy light,
That mouse-like leaps amid brown leaves, cheating sight;
Clear naked stars, burning with swift intense
Earthward intelligence;--

Sensitive, single
Points in the dark inane that purely tingle
With eager fire, pouring night's circles through
Their living blue;

Dark light still waters hold;
Broad silver moonpath trodden into gold:
Candle-flame glittering through the traveller's night--
Most comfortable light....

And lovelier, the eye
Where light from darkness shines unfathomably,
Light secret, clear, shallow, profound, known, strange,
Constant alone in change:--

Not that wild light that turns
Hunted from dying eyes when the last fire burns;
O, not that bitter light of wounded things,
When bony anguish springs

Sudden, intolerable;
Nor light of mad eyes gleaming up from hell....
Come not again, wild light! Shine not again,
Hill-flare of pain!

But thou, most holy light....
Not the noon blaze that stings, too fiercely bright,
Not that unwinking stare of shameless day;
But thou, the gray,

Nun-like and silent, still,
Fine-breathed on many an eastern bare green hill;
Keen light of gray eyes, cool rain, and stern spears;
Sad light, but not to tears:--

--O, comfort thou of eyes
Watching expectant from chill northern skies,
Excellent joy for lids heavy with night--
Strange with delight!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


John Freeman

John Frederick Freeman (29 January 1880 – 23 September 1929) was an English poet and essayist, who gave up a successful career in insurance to write full-time. more…

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"Comfortable Light" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 8 Aug. 2020. <>.

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