"Thou Canst Not Stir A Flower Without Troubling Of A Star"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Francis Thompson's mystical poem The Mistress of Vision seems to have a deep religious meaning that is expressed allegorically. The garden is possibly Heaven; the Lady, Mary; and the sun, Divinity. The poet first has a vision of the Lady singing in the garden. Upon coming back to earth after the vision of the heavenly garden, the poet retains only "dim snatches" of the Lady's song. The poet then asks where his destined "land of Luthany," or land of song, is, and he receives the answer that he will enter it when he leaves the way of mortals. He is further told that all things in the universe are bound together so that moving a flower will cause a disturbance in the heavens. Further the poet learns that his song of suffering in life can give him the strength of the Greek hero Perseus so that he can kill the Medusa-like monster Pain. Stanza 22 of the poem is as follows:

"When to the new eyes of thee
All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
Hiddenly
To each other linkèd are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star;
When thy song is shield and mirror
To the fair snake-curlèd Pain,
Where thou dar'st affront her terror
That on her thou may'st attain
Perséan conquest; seek no more,
O seek no more!
Pass the gates of Luthany, tread the region Elenore."