circa 1970s (no publication date); The Peter Pauper Press, New York; small hardbound in red, black and white illustrated boards; 27 pages; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
"The Hound of Heaven" is a 182-line poem written by English poet Francis Thompson (1859–1907). The poem became famous and was the source of much of Thompson's posthumous reputation. The poem was first published in Thompson's first volume of poems in 1893. It was included in the Oxford Book of English Mystical Verse (1917). Thompson's work was praised by G. K. Chesterton, and it was also an influence on J. R. R. Tolkien, who presented a paper on Thompson in 1914.
This Christian poem has been described as follows:
"The name is strange. It startles one at first. It is so bold, so new, so fearless. It does not attract, rather the reverse. But when one reads the poem this strangeness disappears. The meaning is understood. As the hound follows the hare, never ceasing in its running, ever drawing nearer in the chase, with unhurrying and imperturbed pace, so does God follow the fleeing soul by His Divine grace. And though in sin or in human love, away from God it seeks to hide itself, Divine grace follows after, unwearyingly follows ever after, till the soul feels its pressure forcing it to turn to Him alone in that never ending pursuit." J.F.X. O'Conor, S.J.