ROBERT BUCHANAN (1841–1901)
‘The City of Man’

Comfort, O free and true!
Soon shall there rise for you
A City fairer far than all ye plan;
Built on a rock of strength,
It shall arise at length,
Stately and fair and vast, the City meet for Man!

Towering to yonder skies
Shall the fair City rise,
Dim in the dawning of a day more pure:
House, mart, and street, and square,
Yea, and a Fane for prayer—
Fair, and yet built by hands, strong, for it shall endure.

In the fair City then
Shall walk white-robëd men,
Wash’d in the river of peace that watereth it;
Woman with man shall meet
Freely in mart and street—
At the great council-board woman with man shall sit.

Hunger and Thirst and Sin
Shall never pass therein;
Fed with pure dews of love, children shall grow.
Fearless and fair and free,
Honour’d by all that see,
Virgins in golden zones shall walk as white as snow.

There, on the fields around,
All men shall till the ground,
Corn shall wave yellow, and bright rivers stream;
Daily, at set of sun,
All, when their work is done,
Shall watch the heavens yearn down and the strange starlight gleam.

In the fair City of men
All shall be silent then,
While, on a reverent lute, gentle and low,
Some holy Bard shall play
Music divine, and say
Whence those that hear have come, whither in time they go.

No man of blood shall dare
Wear the white mantle there;
No man of lust shall walk in street or mart;—
Yet shall the Magdalen
Walk with the citizen;
Yet shall the sinner stand gracious and pure of heart.

Now, while days come and go,
Doth the fair City grow,
Surely its stones are laid in sun and moon.
Wise men and pure prepare
Ever this City fair.
Comfort, O ye that weep; it shall arise full soon.

When, stately, fair, and vast,
It doth uprise at last,
Who shall be King thereof, say, O ye wise?—
When the last blood is spilt,
When the fair City is built,
Unto the throne thereof the Monarch shall arise.

Flower of blessedness,
Wrought out of heart’s distress,
Light of all dreams of saintly men who died,
He shall arise some morn
One Soul of many born,
Lord of the realms of peace, Heir of the Crucified!

O but he lingereth,
Drawing mysterious breath
In the dark depths where he was cast as seed.
Strange was the seed to sow,
Dark is the growth and slow;
Still hath he lain for long—now he grows quick indeed.

Quicken, O Soul of Man!
Perfect the mystic plan—
Come from the flesh where thou art darkly wrought;
Wise men and pure prepare
Ever thy City fair—
Come when the City is built, sit on the Throne of Thought.

Earth and all things that be,
Wait, watch, and yearn for thee,
To thee all loving things stretch hands bereaven;—
Perfect and sweet and bright,
Lord of the City of Light,
Last of the flowers of Earth, first of the fruits of Heaven!

Last modified, 15-Jan-2002 .
This site is maintained by Anthony Mandal.