Under a Picture of King's College, Cambridge

Winthrop Mackworth Praed


Most beautiful! —I gaze and gaze
In silence on the glorious pile;
And the glad thoughts of other days
Come thronging back the while.
To me dim Memory makes more dear
The perfect grandeur of the shrine;
But if I stood a stranger here,
The ground were still divine.

Some awe the good and wise have felt,
As reverently their feet have trod
On any spot where man hath knelt,
To commune with his God;
By sacred spring, or haunted well,
Beneath the ruined temple's gloom,
Beside the feeble hermit's cell,
Or the false prophet's tomb.

But when was high devotion graced,
With lovelier dwelling, loftier throne,
Than here the limner's art hath traced
From the time-honored stone?
The spirit here of worship seems
To hold the soul in willing thrall,
And heavenward hopes and holy dreams
Come at her voiceless call;

At midnight, when the lonely moon
Looks from a vapor's silvery fold;
At morning, when the sun of June
Crests the high towers with gold;
For every change of hour and form
Makes that fair scene more deeply fair;
And dusk and daybreak, calm and storm,
Are all religion there.


The magnificent chapel of King's College, Cambridge, is one of the most glorious pieces of religious architecture - of any architecture - in England.