“The Fringes of a Dress…”


Where Dwellest Thou?

O what is it that wanders in the wind?
And what is it that whispers in the wood?
What is the river singing to the sun?
Why this vague pain in every charmed sense,
This yearning, keen suspense?
Often I’ve seen a garment floating by,
fringe of it only; golden brown as it lay
On the ripe grasses, fern-green on the ferns,
And in the wood, like bluebells’ misty blue
Whitened with mountain dew.
I laid me low among the mountain grass;
I laid me low among the river fern;
I hid me in the wood and tried to hold
The lovely wonder of it as it passed,
And tried to hold it fast.
It slipped like sunshine through my eager hands;
See, they are dusted as with pollen dust,
Soft dust of gold, and soft the sense of touch,
Soft as the south wind’s sea-blown evening kiss;
But I have only this…
This dust of vanished gold upon my hands,
This breath of wind blowing upon my hair,
Stirring of something near, so near, but far,
Glimm’ring through color’s fleeting preciousness–
The fringes of a dress.
O Wearer of that garment, of its hem,
Hardly perceived, can thrill us, what must Thou,
Its Weaver and its Wearer, be to see?
Master, where dwellest Thou? O tell me now,
Where dwellest Thou?
The grasses turned their golden heads away,
And shyer and more wistful stood the ferns;
The little flowers looked up with puzzled eyes;
Only the river, who is all my own,
Left me not quite alone…
But mixed his music with my human cry,
Till somewhere from the half-withdrawing wood
Sounds of familiar footsteps: Is it Thou?
Master, where dwellest Thou? O speak to me.
And He said, “Come and see.
-Amy Carmichael
from a collection of her poetry titled, Toward Jerusalem.
**May you enjoy this poem today and walk through the day’s moments with an awareness that they are but fringes of His dress.  

0 thoughts on ““The Fringes of a Dress…”

  1. freebirdsings says:

    Enjoyed your painting. I don’t seem to understand poetry well. Carl Sandburg is a poet I can understand but he is more upfront with what he is saying. I don’t seem to get things unless they are well spelled out!

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