by John Oxenham

William Arthur Dunkerley

King's Daughter!
Wouldst thou be all fair,
Peerless and beautiful,
A very Queen?
Know then:--
Not as men build unto the Silent One,--
With clang and clamour,
Traffic of rude voices,
Clink of steel on stone,
And din of hammer;--
Not so the temple of thy grace is reared.
But,--in the inmost shrine
Must thou begin,
And build with care
A Holy Place,
A place unseen,
Each stone a prayer.
Then, having built,
Thy shrine sweep bare
Of self and sin,
And all that might demean;
And, with endeavour,
Watching ever, praying ever,
Keep it fragrant-sweet, and clean:
So, by God's grace, it be fit place,--
His Christ shall enter and shall dwell therein.
Not as in earthly fane--where chase
Of steel on stone may strive to win
Some outward grace,--
_Thy temple face is chiselled from within_.

Last updated January 14, 2019