The son of a successful father with whom he could have little in common, he was a failure in his studies to become a Catholic priest and later a physician. Self-exiled from home, he wandered to London, where, ground down into the direst degradation and poverty and forced to subsist on the inadequate fare he could earn by selling matches on the street, he nevertheless grew in spiritual fervor and integrity. His first poems, growing out of a promising youth of effort, were published in April,in Merry England, a magazine edited by Wilfrid Meynell, who with his beautiful and talented wife Alice was to have great influence on the personal and poetical life of the poet. These early works include numerous poems about children.
Professor of Philosophy, St. Francis Xavier College, N. Editor of Autobiography of St. Ignatius, of Life of St. This great poem, strange to say, is comparatively little known.
It is the sweetest, deepest, strongest song ever written in the English tongue. To say Thompson's poem is one of the great odes is to place it unranked among them. In my judgment it is greater. I do not hesitate to say with the Bookman that "the Hound of Heaven seems to us, on the whole, the most wonderful lyric in the language.
It fingers all the stops of the spirit. It is the return of the nineteenth century to Thomas a Kempis.
Chesterton, "with Francis Thompson we lose the greatest poetic energy since Browning. In his poetry as in the poetry of the universe, you can work infinitely out and out, but yet infinitely in and in.
These two infinities are the mark of a great poet, and he was Francis thompsons poetry essay great poet. In many poems, one reading suffices, and the mind is sated, for the whole depth is plummeted and all is revealed in a single view.
It is not so in this poem. There is a depth that can be sounded, and deeper depths are still there. The vision takes in the view, but other details arise that charm, or surprise, or startle, or evoke admiration at the spiritual insight into the workings of the soul.
It gives great and wide range of thought within a small compass, and a deep -1 knowledge of the human soul, of the meanings of life, of the soul's relation to God and of other beings not God, and of the hold of God's love upon the soul in spite of its fleeing from Him to the creatures of His hand.
It is happiness the human soul is ever yearning for. It never ceases its quest for happiness. Night and day, year after year, it is grasping after happiness. It looks for it in every creature, in the earth, in the sea, in the air. The soul asks all these things — wherein is your happiness — and the answer of earth, air, sea is "He made us.
It will find happiness only in God. And yet instead of seeking it in God, it turns away from Him and seeks it in the creature, something that is not God.
And God is ever seeking that soul which is running away from Him. Wherever it runs, the sound of those feet, following ever after, is heard, and a voice, stronger than the beat — But with unhurrying chase.
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy They beat — and a Voice beats More instant than the feet, "All things betray thee, who betrayest Me. He seems to sing in verse, the thought of St. Ignatius in 5 the spiritual exercises, — the thought of St.
Paul in the tender, insistent love of Christ for the soul, and the yearning of Christ for the love of that soul which ever runs after creatures, till the love of Christ awakens in it a love of its God, which dims and deadens all love of creatures except through love for Him.T H Wright: Francis Thompson and His Poetry ( Harrap) A de la Gorce: Francis Thompson ( B & O) F C Owlett: Essay on Francis Thompson ( Bumpus) - Ltd Ed Biographical and critical collections relating to Francis Thompson, assembled by his protectors and promoters, the Meynell family, principally relating to The Works of Francis Thompson (), edited by Wilfrid Meynell, and The Life of Francis Thompson () by .
Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Life of Francis Thompson, by Everard Meynell. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.
Failing to contact Francis Thompson, he eventually published the a poem and the essay in April Publication made Thompson contact Meynell, who visited the address given: a chemist's shop in Drury Lane (where Meynell forked out in respect of a 3/9d debt, and a promise of half-a-guinea, if he could locate the missing writer).
Francis Thompson, (born Dec.
18, , Preston, Lancashire, Eng.—died Nov. 13, , London), English poet of the s, whose most famous poem, “The Hound of Heaven,” describes the pursuit of the human soul by God. Thompson was educated in the Roman Catholic faith at Ushaw College, a seminary in the north of England.