‘City of Man’ by Charles Williams

‘City of Man’DSCF9120

by Charles Williams

“How shall we build the city of men,
Love and our mays and we,
Who are not sons of the bondwomen
But children of the free ?

It shall be free as our mothers are,
Who seem as Sinai,
Moving their heads in that covenant
So anciently and high.

Though they be broken of men to-day,
Bruised with toil and pain,
Liberty that is the soul of them
Shall surely stand again.

They by whom we were brought to be,
Born to the ways of men.
Walk in our midst, of that free city
Each a free citizen.

Thus to build up the city of men.
Love and our mays and we,
Being not sons of the bondwomen
But children of the free !

It shall be free as our lovers are,
Holily loved and trod,
They by whom we were brought to be.
Born to the ways of God.

Little, O little, upon our hearts
Seemed they within our love, —
O but the mightiness in them hid,
We were afraid thereof!

Queens, and they rendered themselves to us
O but we knew them then.
Republican in Jerusalem,
City and citizen.

Thus will we toil at the city of men.
Whose name is liberty,
Jerusalem, the mother of all.
That is above and free.

Stand fast, stand fast for Jerusalem,
Stand fast in liberty:
We are not sons of the bondwomen
But children of the free!”

Poet, novelist and playwright, Charles Williams died on this day in 1945. He was a member of the Oxford literary group, the “Inklings” along with C.S. Lewis and J. R. R Tolkien. You can read more about the group through Surrey Libraries.

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