One of the Most Important Windows

A winter scene from the common room window at The Kilns, This is where Lewis' desk sat, one of the locations where Narnia and many of his other books were penned. (photo copyright 2008, Diana Glyer)

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting our friends and conference faculty members, Malcolm Guite and Diana Glyer, at the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns.

After their visit, Diana posted up a few photos of her stay.  Upon seeing the photo of the window behind C.S. Lewis’ desk (reprinted here), Malcolm commented:

Surely one of the most important windows in the world:

“A man that looks on glass
Onit may stay his eye
Or if he pleaseth through it pass
And then the Heavens espy”

(excerpt of George Herbert’s “The Elixir”)

Here’s the full poem:

The Elixir

George Herbert (1593-1633)

TEACH me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything
To do it as for Thee.

Not rudely, as a beast
To run into an action;
But still to make Thee prepossest
And give it his perfection.

A man that looks on glass
On it may stay his eye,
Or if he pleaseth, through it pass,
And then the heaven espy.

All may of Thee partake
Nothing can be so mean
Which with his tincture, ‘for Thy sake,’
Will not grow bright and clean.

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine;
Who sweeps a room, as for Thy laws,
Makes that and the action fine.

This is the famous stone
That turneth all to gold,
For that which God doth touch and own
Cannot for less be told.

Diana Pavlac Glyer Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She has been widely recognized for her work on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings, including contributions to The C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and C.S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. She is the recipient of the Wade Center’s Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant (1997), APU’s Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Teaching Award (2002), and the Imperishable Flame Award for Tolkien Scholarship (2007). Her latest book is The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community.

Malcolm Guite Chaplain and Fellow, Girton College, Cambridge, and teacher of Literature and Pastoral Theology for the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges. Trained for the Priesthood at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, he was ordained in 1990. His doctoral thesis focused on the links between the theology of Lancelot Andrewes and the poetry of T.S. Eliot. Guite is involved with a number of projects linking theology and the arts, and has published poetry, literary criticism and theology in various journals. His book, What do Christians Believe?, was published by Granta in 2006. As founder of the rock band, Mystery Train, Guite writes lyrics and performs on guitar and vocals.

2 thoughts on “One of the Most Important Windows

  1. Ron

    Malcolm said it!! Having stood in that room and looked out that window there is a sense of excitement and awe that’s hard to put into words. All I can think is, “Thank you Lord for giving us C.S. Lewis.”

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