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Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
Artwork by Paul Peter Piech. Words by Malcolm Parr. © the Estate of Paul Peter Piech. 1993.
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Could you ever imagine
a country as beautiful,
a wilderness lovelier than this?
In its soil are the roots
of a forest, Dandakaranya -
Its silence braided by the music
in the silver-blond plaits
of virgin waterfalls.
There a demon from Serendip,
disguised as a golden stag
darts in and out
of the corners of your eyes.
A fleeting flash of glitter,
which steals away
what desire cannot attain.
Elusive as the wind,
fleeing with the sunshine
it leads you away from yourself,
the more you chase it
through foliage and undergrowth.
It is still said
that if you see the golden deer
you are condemned to seek it
for the rest of your life
and never find it,
though you may catch
glimpses of it, now and then.
antlers of gold
that snare the sun.