"Naught Shelters Thee, Who Wilt Not Shelter Me"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In his poem The Hound of Heaven, the Catholic poet Francis Thompson develops the theme of God's love ever in pursuit of man who tries to find consolation elsewhere. In his mad flight "From those strong Feet that followed," the poet seeks refuge everywhere. No longer looking for help "In face of man or maid," he turns to little children, but "just as their young eyes grew sudden fair/ With dawning answers there,/ Their angel plucked them from me by the hair." His hope lies then in Nature, but there he finds no consolation, and the trailing voice speaks: "'Lo! naught contents thee, who content'st not Me.'" Finally the voice speaks again, telling him that only He can give love to one "'so little worthy of any love. . . .'" What the poet had lost as a child and what he has been seeking, God has stored up for him. The power and the speed of the persistent pursuit of God's love are suggested in the meter of the following lines:

Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat–
'Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.'