"Look For Me In The Nurseries Of Heaven"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: The Catholic poet Francis Thompson knew both abject poverty and almost complete isolation from society. He was found destitute by the editor Wilfrid Meynell into whose hands some of Thompson's poetry had come. Meynell took the poet in and, together with his wife Alice Meynell, gave him friendship and encouragement. "To My Godchild" is written to the Meynell's son Francis. In the poem the poet expresses the warmth that the birth of the child has brought to him. He hopes that his name will give his godson "a poet's power"; yet he wishes the child to take his legacy from others far greater. The poet says: "My song I do but hold for you in trust,/ I ask you but to blossom from my dust." Even after death the poet will still watch over his godchild through "a golden crevice in the sky,/ Which I have pierced but to behold you by!" When the godchild dies, the poet says that he should not look for his godfather among the "bearded counsellors of God," nor among the younger poets, but among the "nurseries of Heaven." The final lines of the poem read:

. . .
Pass by where wait, young poet-wayfarer,
Your cousined clusters, emulous to share
With you the roseal lightnings burning 'mid their hair;
Pass the crystalline sea, the Lampads seven:–
Look for me in the nurseries of Heaven.