God's Absence by Mechthild of Magdeburg
Mechthild of Magdeburg
Ah blessed absence of God,
How lovingly I am bound to you!
You strengthen my will in its pain
And make dear to me
The long hard wait in my poor body.
The nearer I come to you,
The more wonderfully and abundantly
God comes upon me,
Read Poem

God Speaks to the Soul by Mechthild of Magdeburg
Mechthild of Magdeburg
God speaks to the soul
And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me.
And where the desires of two come together
There love is perfected.

Read Poem

Think Not All Is Over by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Think not, when the wailing winds of autumn
Drive the shivering leaflets from the tree,—
Think not all is over: spring returneth,
Buds and leaves and blossoms thou shalt see.

Think not, when the earth lies cold and sealed,
And the weary birds above her mourn,—
Think not all is over: God still liveth,
Songs and sunshine shall again return.
Read Poem

Blues for Hal Waters by Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman
My head, my secret cranial guitar, strung with myths plucked from
Yesterday's straits, it's buried in robes of echoes, my eyes breezeless bags, lacquered to present a glint . . .
My marble lips, entrance to that cave, where visions renounce renunciation,
Eternity has wet sidewalks, angels are busted for drunk flying.
I only want privacy to create an illusion of me blotted out.
His high hopes were placed in his coffin. Long paddles of esteem for his symbol canoe.
If I move to the stars, forward my mail c/o God, Heaven, Lower East Side.
Too late for skindiving and other modern philosophies, put my ego in storage.
Read Poem

The Great Form is Without Shape by Gerrit Lansing
Gerrit Lansing
All life long
you are unhanding
unhanding and unhanding
what was handed you.

All life long
you throw out the line of life.
You throw out the line, stinging
up from your guts.
Read Poem

Nothing Is Far by Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Though I have never caught the word Of God from any calling bird, I hear all that the ancients heard. Though I have seen no deity
Read Poem

'My own heart let me more have pity on' by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
My own heart let me more have pity on; let
Me live to my sad self hereafter kind,
Charitable; not live this tormented mind
With this tormented mind tormenting yet.
I cast for comfort I can no more get
By groping round my comfortless, than blind
Eyes in their dark can day or thirst can find
Thirst's all-in-all in all a world of wet.
Read Poem

Hidden by James McMichael
James McMichael
In dogma
is the secret that renders God unconditioned,

on one condition.
“If you are not My people,
I am not your God.”
As fashioned by His people's witness,

a made thing,
Read Poem

Wisdom by James McMichael
James McMichael
For the young man who would have
myrrh from a woman,
and cinnamon and aloes,

smoother than oil is her mouth. She flatters him with it.
Between her lips lies death.
The young man learns that as his bride he should instead have taken
Wisdom to him.
Wisdom is the words that figure her as
Read Poem

God by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
In the ancient days, when the first quiver of speech came to my lips,
I ascended the holy mountain and spoke unto God, saying, “Master,
I am thy slave. Thy hidden will is my law and I shall obey thee
for ever more.”

But God made no answer, and like a mighty tempest passed away.

And after a thousand years I ascended the holy mountain and again
spoke unto God, saying, “Creator, I am thy creation. Out of clay
hast thou fashioned me and to thee I owe mine all.”

And God made no answer, but like a thousand swift wings passed

And after a thousand years I climbed the holy mountain and spoke
unto God again, saying, “Father, I am thy son. In pity and love
thou hast given me birth, and through love and worship I shall
inherit thy kingdom.”

And God made no answer, and like the mist that veils the distant
hills he passed away.

And after a thousand years I climbed the sacred mountain and again
spoke unto God, saying, “My God, my aim and my fulfillment; I am
thy yesterday and thou are my tomorrow. I am thy root in the earth
and thou art my flower in the sky, and together we grow before the
face of the sun.”

Then God leaned over me, and in my ears whispered words of sweetness,
and even as the sea that enfoldeth a brook that runneth down to
her, he enfolded me.

And when I descended to the valleys and the plains God was there
Read Poem

The Good God and the Evil God by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
The Good God and the Evil God met on the mountain top.

The Good God said, “Good day to you, brother.”

The Evil God did not answer.

And the Good God said, “You are in a bad humour today.”

“Yes,” said the Evil God, “for of late I have been often mistakenfor you, called by your name, and treated as if I were you, and itill-pleases me.”

And the Good God said, “But I too have been mistaken for you andcalled by your name.”

The Evil God walked away cursing the stupidity of man.
Read Poem

“The Perfect World” by Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran
God of lost souls, thou who are lost amongst the gods, hear me:

Gentle Destiny that watchest over us, mad, wandering spirits, hearme:

I dwell in the midst of a perfect race, I the most imperfect.

I, a human chaos, a nebula of confused elements, I move amongstfinished worlds—peoples of complete laws and pure order, whosethoughts are assorted, whose dreams are arranged, and whose visionsare enrolled and registered.

Their virtues, O God, are measured, their sins are weighed, andeven the countless things that pass in the dim twilight of neithersin nor virtue are recorded and catalogued.

Here days and night are divided into seasons of conduct and governedby rules of blameless accuracy.

To eat, to drink, to sleep, to cover one’s nudity, and then to beweary in due time.

To work, to play, to sing, to dance, and then to lie still whenthe clock strikes the hour.

To think thus, to feel thus much, and then to cease thinking andfeeling when a certain star rises above yonder horizon.

To rob a neighbour with a smile, to bestow gifts with a gracefulwave of the hand, to praise prudently, to blame cautiously, todestroy a sound with a word, to burn a body with a breath, and thento wash the hands when the day’s work is done.

To love according to an established order, to entertain one’s bestself in a preconceived manner, to worship the gods becomingly,to intrigue the devils artfully—and then to forget all as thoughmemory were dead.

To fancy with a motive, to contemplate with consideration, to behappy sweetly, to suffer nobly—and then to empty the cup so thattomorrow may fill it again.

All these things, O God, are conceived with forethought, born withdetermination, nursed with exactness, governed by rules, directedby reason, and then slain and buried after a prescribed method.And even their silent graves that lie within the human soul aremarked and numbered.

It is a perfect world, a world of consummate excellence, a world ofsupreme wonders, the ripest fruit in God’s garden, the master-thoughtof the universe.

But why should I be here, O God, I a green seed of unfulfilledpassion, a mad tempest that seeketh neither east nor west, abewildered fragment from a burnt planet?

Why am I here, O God of lost souls, thou who art lost amongst the gods?
Read Poem

Benediction by Stanley Kunitz
Stanley Kunitz
God banish from your house
The fly, the roach, the mouse

That riots in the walls
Until the plaster falls;

Admonish from your door
The hypocrite and liar;

No shy, soft, tigrish fear
Permit upon your stair,
Read Poem

England to Germany in 1914 by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy
Autumn 1914 'O England, may God punish thee!'
—Is it that Teuton genius flowers
Only to breathe malignity
Upon its friend of earlier hours?
Read Poem

August, 1914 by Vera Mary Brittain
Vera Mary Brittain
God said,“Men have forgotten Me:
The souls that sleep shall wake again,
And blinded eyes must learn to see.”

So since redemption comes through pain
He smote the earth with chastening rod,
And brought destruction's lurid reign;

But where His desolation trod
The people in their agony
Despairing cried,“There is no God.”
Read Poem

“God! How I hate you, you young cheerful men” by Arthur Graeme West
Arthur Graeme West
God! How I hate you, you young cheerful men,
Whose pious poetry blossoms on your graves

As soon as you are in them, nurtured up
By the salt of your corruption, and the tears
Of mothers, local vicars, college deans,
And flanked by prefaces and photographs
From all you minor poet friends—the fools—
Who paint their sentimental elegies
Read Poem

The War Films by Henry Newbolt
Henry Newbolt
O living pictures of the dead,
O songs without a sound,
O fellowship whose phantom tread
Hallows a phantom ground—
How in a gleam have these revealed
The faith we had not found.

We have sought God in a cloudy Heaven,
We have passed by God on earth:
His seven sins and his sorrows seven,
His wayworn mood and mirth,
Like a ragged cloak have hid from us
The secret of his birth.

Brother of men, when now I see
Read Poem

Dawn on the Somme by Robert Nichols
Robert Nichols
Last night rain fell over the scarred plateau
And now from the dark horizon, dazzling, flies
Arrow on fire-plumed arrow to the skies
Shot from the bright arc of Apollo's bow;
And from the wild and writhen waste below,
From flashing pools and mounds lit one by one,
O is it mist or are these companies
Of morning heroes who arise, arise
With thrusting arms, with limbs and hair aglow
Toward the risen god, upon whose brow
Burns the gold laurel of all victories,
Hero and hero's god, th' invincible Sun?
Read Poem

Not to Live by John Berryman
John Berryman
(Jamestown 1957) It kissed us, soft, to cut our throats, this coast,
like a malice of the lazy King. I hunt,
Read Poem

slaveships by Lucille Clifton
Lucille Clifton
loaded like spoons
into the belly of Jesus
where we lay for weeks for months
in the sweat and stink
of our own breathing
why do you not protect us
chained to the heart of the Angel
Read Poem

Psalm 84 by Mary Sidney Herbert Countess of Pembroke
Mary Sidney Herbert Countess of Pembroke
How lovely is thy dwelling,
Great god, to whom all greatness is belonging!
To view thy courts far, far from any telling
My soul doth long and pine with longing
Unto the God that liveth,
The God that all life giveth,
My heart and body both aspire,
Above delight, beyond desire.

Alas, the sparrow knoweth
The house where free and fearless she resideth;
Directly to the nest the swallow goeth,
Where with her sons she safe abideth.
Oh, altars thine, most mighty
In war, yea, most almighty:
Read Poem

Trees by Joyce Kilmer
Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Read Poem

The New Noah by Adonis

We travel upon the Ark, in mud and rain,
Our oars promises from God.
We live—and the rest of Humanity dies.
We travel upon the waves, fastening
Our lives to the ropes of corpses filling the skies.
But between Heaven and us is an opening,
A porthole for a supplication.
Read Poem

Seder-Night by Israel Zangwill
Israel Zangwill
Prosaic miles of streets stretch all round,
Astir with restless, hurried life and spanned
By arches that with thund’rous trains resound,
And throbbing wires that galvanize the land;
Gin-palaces in tawdry splendor stand;
The newsboys shriek of mangled bodies found;
The last burlesque is playing in the Strand—
In modern prose all poetry seems drowned.
Yet in ten thousand homes this April night
An ancient People celebrates its birth
To Freedom, with a reverential mirth,
With customs quaint and many a hoary rite,
Waiting until, its tarnished glories bright,
Its God shall be the God of all the earth.
Read Poem

The Prisoner by R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
‘Poems from prison! About
‘Life and God.’ ‘God
in prison? Friend, you trifle
with me. His face, perhaps,
at the bars, fading
like life.’
‘He came in
Read Poem

To the Negro Farmers of the United States by Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson
God washes clean the souls and hearts of you,
His favored ones, whose backs bend o’er the soil,
Which grudging gives to them requite for toil
In sober graces and in vision true.
God places in your hands the pow’r to do
A service sweet. Your gift supreme to foil
The bare-fanged wolves of hunger in the moil
Of Life’s activities. Yet all too few
Read Poem

Eve by Ella Higginson
Ella Higginson
Close to the gates of Paradise I flee;
The night is hot and serpents leave their beds,
And slide along the dark, crooking their heads,—
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

My eyes are burning so I cannot see;
My feet are bleeding and I suffer pain;
Let me come in on the cool grass again—
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

I ate the fruit of the forbidden tree,
And was cast out into the barren drouth;
And since – the awful taste within my mouth!
My God, my God, open the gates to me!

Read Poem

Homes by Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
Charlotte Anna Perkins Gilman
A Sestina We are the smiling comfortable homes
With happy families enthroned therein,
Where baby souls are brought to meet the world,
Where women end their duties and desires,
Read Poem

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson
Lift ev’ry voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Read Poem

An Address to Miss Phillis Wheatly by Jupiter Hammon
Jupiter Hammon

O come you pious youth! adore
The wisdom of thy God,
In bringing thee from distant shore,
Read Poem

A Poem for Children with Thoughts on Death by Jupiter Hammon
Jupiter Hammon

O Ye young and thoughtless youth,
Come seek the living God,
The scriptures are a sacred truth,
Ye must believe the word.
Eccl. xii. 1.


Tis God alone can make you wise,
His wisdom’s from above,
He fills the soul with sweet supplies
By his redeeming love.
Prov. iv. 7.
Read Poem

from Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart
Christopher Smart
let elizur rejoice with the partridge Let Elizur rejoice with the Partridge, who is a prisoner of state and is proud of his keepers.
For I am not without authority in my jeopardy, which I derive inevitably from the glory of the name of the Lord.
Read Poem

“The ribs and terrors in the whale” by Herman Melville
Herman Melville
The ribs and terrors in the whale,
Arched over me a dismal gloom,
While all God’s sun-lit waves rolled by,
And left me deepening down to doom.

I saw the opening maw of hell,
With endless pains and sorrows there;
Which none but they that feel can tell—
Read Poem

from America, America by Saadi Youssef
Saadi Youssef
God save America,
My home, sweet home!

We are not hostages, America,
and your soldiers are not God's soldiers...
We are the poor ones, ours is the earth of the drowned gods,
the gods of bulls,
the gods of fires,
the gods of sorrows that intertwine clay and blood in a song...
Read Poem

Attempted Assassination of the Queen by Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall
Knight of the White Elephant of Burmah William McGonagall
God prosper long our noble Queen,
And long may she reign!
Maclean he tried to shoot her,
But it was all in vain.

For God He turned the ball aside
Maclean aimed at her head;
And he felt very angry
Because he didn’t shoot her dead.

There’s a divinity that hedges a king,
And so it does seem,
And my opinion is, it has hedged
Our most gracious Queen.

Read Poem

The Forerunners by George Herbert
George Herbert
The harbingers are come. See, see their mark:
White is their color, and behold my head.
But must they have my brain? Must they dispark
Those sparkling notions, which therein were bred?
Must dullness turn me to a clod?
Yet have they left me, Thou art still my God.

Good men ye be, to leave me my best room,
Ev’n all my heart, and what is lodgèd there:
I pass not, I, what of the rest become,
So Thou art still my God be out of fear.
He will be pleasèd with that ditty:
And if I please him, I write fine and witty.

Farewell sweet phrases, lovely metaphors.
Read Poem

God Bless America by John Fuller
John Fuller
When they confess that they have lost the penial bone and outer space is
Once again a numinous void, when they’re kept out of Other Places,
And Dr Fieser falls asleep at last and dreams of unburnt faces,
When gold medals are won by the ton for forgetting about the different races, God Bless America.

When in the Latin shanties the scented priesthood suffers metempsychosis
And with an organ entry tutti copula the dollar uncrosses
Read Poem

HYMNS: My God! I Know, I Feel Thee Mine by Charles Wesley
Charles Wesley
My God! I know, I feel thee mine,
And will not quit my claim
Till all I have is lost in thine,
And all renewed I am.

I hold thee with a trembling hand,
But will not let thee go
Till steadfastly by faith I stand,
And all thy goodness know.

When shall I see the welcome hour
That plants my God in me!
Read Poem

Ice Child by John Haines
John Haines
Cold for so long, unable to speak,
yet your mouth seems framed
on a cry, or a stifled question.

Who placed you here, and left you
to this lonely eternity of ash and ice,
and himself returned to the dust
fields, the church and the temple?

Was it God—the sun-god of the Incas,
Read Poem

In Heaven by Stephen Crane
Stephen Crane

In Heaven,
Some little blades of grass
Stood before God.
“What did you do?”
Then all save one of the little blades
Began eagerly to relate
The merits of their lives.
Read Poem

In the Orchard by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Leave go my hands, let me catch breath and see;
Let the dew-fall drench either side of me;
Clear apple-leaves are soft upon that moon
Seen sidelong like a blossom in the tree;
And God, ah God, that day should be so soon.

The grass is thick and cool, it lets us lie.
Kissed upon either cheek and either eye,
I turn to thee as some green afternoon
Turns toward sunset, and is loth to die;
Ah God, ah God, that day should be so soon.

Lie closer, lean your face upon my side,
Feel where the dew fell that has hardly dried,
Hear how the blood beats that went nigh to swoon;
Read Poem

In the Valley of the Elwy by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I remember a house where all were good
To me, God knows, deserving no such thing:
Comforting smell breathed at very entering,
Fetched fresh, as I suppose, off some sweet wood.
That cordial air made those kind people a hood
All over, as a bevy of eggs the mothering wing
Will, or mild nights the new morsels of Spring:
Why, it seemed of course; seemed of right it should.

Lovely the woods, waters, meadows, combes, vales,
All the air things wear that build this world of Wales;
Only the inmate does not correspond:
God, lover of souls, swaying considerate scales,
Complete thy creature dear O where it fails,
Being mighty a master, being a father and fond.
Read Poem

Kneeling by R. S. Thomas
R. S. Thomas
Moments of great calm,
Kneeling before an altar
Of wood in a stone church
In summer, waiting for the God
To speak; the air a staircase
For silence; the sun’s light
Ringing me, as though I acted
A great rôle. And the audiences
Read Poem

Neutrality Loathsome by Robert Herrick
Robert Herrick
God will have all, or none; serve Him, or fall
Down before Baal, Bel, or Belial:
Either be hot, or cold: God doth despise,
Abhorre, and spew out all Neutralities.
Read Poem

Our God, Our Help by Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
Our God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home:

Under the shadow of thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Read Poem

Psalm 58 by Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
Warning to Magistrates Judges, who rule the world by laws,
Will ye despise the righteous cause,
When th’injur’d poor before you stands?
Dare ye condemn the righteous poor,
Read Poem

Recessional by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
1897 God of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Read Poem

The River at Wolf by Jean Valentine
Jean Valentine
Coming east we left the animals
pelican beaver osprey muskrat and snake
their hair and skin and feathers
their eyes in the dark: red and green.
Your finger drawing my mouth.

Blessed are they who remember
that what they now have they once longed for.

A day a year ago last summer
Read Poem

“Imagine Lucifer . . .” by Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer
Imagine Lucifer
An angel without angelness
An apple
Plucked clear by will of taste, color,
Strength, beauty, roundness, seed
Absent of all God painted, present everything
An apple is.
Imagine Lucifer
An angel without angelness
A poem
That has revised itself out of sound
Imagine, rhyme, concordance
Absent of all God spoke of, present everything
A poem is.
The law I say, the Law
Read Poem

At Mass by Vachel Lindsay
Vachel Lindsay
No doubt to-morrow I will hide
My face from you, my King.
Let me rejoice this Sunday noon,
And kneel while gray priests sing.

It is not wisdom to forget.
But since it is my fate
Fill thou my soul with hidden wine
To make this white hour great.

My God, my God, this marvelous hour
I am your son I know.
Once in a thousand days your voice
Has laid temptation low.
Read Poem

Battle-Hymn of the Republic by Julia Ward Howe
Julia Ward Howe
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fatal lightning of his terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps.
His Day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
“As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.”

Read Poem

Davis Matlock by Edgar Lee Masters
Edgar Lee Masters
Suppose it is nothing but the hive:
That there are drones and workers
And queens, and nothing but storing honey —
(Material things as well as culture and wisdom) —
For the next generation, this generation never living,
Except as it swarms in the sun-light of youth,
Strengthening its wings on what has been gathered,
And tasting, on the way to the hive
From the clover field, the delicate spoil.
Suppose all this, and suppose the truth:
That the nature of man is greater
Than nature's need in the hive;
And you must bear the burden of life,
As well as the urge from your spirit's excess —
Well, I say to live it out like a god
Read Poem

The Divine Image by William Blake
William Blake
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Read Poem

The Epitaph in Form of a Ballad which Villon Made for Himself and his Comrades, Expecting to be Hanged along with Them by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
Men, brother men, that after us yet live,
Let not your hearts too hard against us be;
For if some pity of us poor men ye give,
The sooner God shall take of you pity.
Here are we five or six strung up, you see,
And here the flesh that all too well we fed
Bit by bit eaten and rotten, rent and shred,
And we the bones grow dust and ash withal;
Let no man laugh at us discomforted,
But pray to God that he forgive us all.

If we call on you, brothers, to forgive,
Ye should not hold our prayer in scorn, though we
Were slain by law; ye know that all alive
Have not wit alway to walk righteously;
Read Poem

The God Who Loves You by Carl Dennis
Carl Dennis
It must be troubling for the god who loves you
To ponder how much happier you’d be today
Had you been able to glimpse your many futures.
It must be painful for him to watch you on Friday evenings
Driving home from the office, content with your week—
Three fine houses sold to deserving families—
Knowing as he does exactly what would have happened
Had you gone to your second choice for college,
Read Poem

The Higher Pantheism in a Nutshell by Algernon Charles Swinburne
Algernon Charles Swinburne
One, who is not, we see: but one, whom we see not, is:
Surely this is not that: but that is assuredly this.

What, and wherefore, and whence? for under is over and under:
If thunder could be without lightning, lightning could be without thunder.

Doubt is faith in the main: but faith, on the whole, is doubt:
We cannot believe by proof: but could we believe without?

Why, and whither, and how? for barley and rye are not clover:
Neither are straight lines curves: yet over is under and over.

Two and two may be four: but four and four are not eight:
Fate and God may be twain: but God is the same thing as fate.

Read Poem

The Hold-fast by George Herbert
George Herbert

I threaten'd to observe the strict decree
Of my dear God with all my power and might;
But I was told by one it could not be;
Yet I might trust in God to be my light.
"Then will I trust," said I, "in Him alone."
"Nay, e'en to trust in Him was also His:
We must confess that nothing is our own."
"Then I confess that He my succour is."
"But to have nought is ours, not to confess
That we have nought." I stood amaz'd at this,
Much troubled, till I heard a friend express
That all things were more ours by being His;
What Adam had, and forfeited for all,
Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall.
Read Poem

Holy Sonnets: If poisonous minerals, and if that tree by John Donne
John Donne
If poisonous minerals, and if that tree
Whose fruit threw death on else immortal us,
If lecherous goats, if serpents envious
Cannot be damn'd, alas, why should I be?
Why should intent or reason, born in me,
Make sins, else equal, in me more heinous?
And mercy being easy, and glorious
To God, in his stern wrath why threatens he?
But who am I, that dare dispute with thee,
O God? Oh, of thine only worthy blood
And my tears, make a heavenly Lethean flood,
And drown in it my sins' black memory.
That thou remember them, some claim as debt;
I think it mercy, if thou wilt forget.

Read Poem

In Memoriam A. H. H. OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII: 55 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The wish, that of the living whole
No life may fail beyond the grave,
Derives it not from what we have
The likest God within the soul?

Are God and Nature then at strife,
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems,
So careless of the single life;

That I, considering everywhere
Her secret meaning in her deeds,
And finding that of fifty seeds
She often brings but one to bear,

Read Poem

from Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart
Christopher Smart
For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
Read Poem

The Lamb by William Blake
William Blake
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee

Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
Read Poem

Love's Deity by John Donne
John Donne
I long to talk with some old lover's ghost,
Who died before the god of love was born.
I cannot think that he, who then lov'd most,
Sunk so low as to love one which did scorn.
But since this god produc'd a destiny,
And that vice-nature, custom, lets it be,
I must love her, that loves not me.

Sure, they which made him god, meant not so much,
Nor he in his young godhead practis'd it.
But when an even flame two hearts did touch,
His office was indulgently to fit
Actives to passives. Correspondency
Only his subject was; it cannot be
Love, till I love her, that loves me.
Read Poem

A Musical Instrument by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
WHAT was he doing, the great god Pan,
Down in the reeds by the river ?
Spreading ruin and scattering ban,
Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,
And breaking the golden lilies afloat
With the dragon-fly on the river.

He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,
From the deep cool bed of the river :
The limpid water turbidly ran,
And the broken lilies a-dying lay,
And the dragon-fly had fled away,
Ere he brought it out of the river.
Read Poem

Only a Curl by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
FRIENDS of faces unknown and a land
Unvisited over the sea,
Who tell me how lonely you stand
With a single gold curl in the hand
Held up to be looked at by me, —

Read Poem

The Pulley by George Herbert
George Herbert
When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
“Let us,” said he, “pour on him all we can.
Let the world’s riches, which dispersèd lie,
Contract into a span.”

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure.
Read Poem

A Shropshire Lad  1: From Clee to heaven the beacon burns by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
From Clee to heaven the beacon burns,
The shires have seen it plain,
From north and south the sign returns
And beacons burn again.

Look left, look right, the hills are bright,
The dales are light between,
Because 'tis fifty years to-night
That God has saved the Queen.

Now, when the flame they watch not towers
About the soil they trod,
Lads, we'll remember friends of ours
Who shared the work with God.

Read Poem

The Snow Is Deep on the Ground by Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Patchen
The snow is deep on the ground.
Always the light falls
Softly down on the hair of my belovèd.

This is a good world.
The war has failed.
God shall not forget us.
Who made the snow waits where love is.

Only a few go mad.
Read Poem

Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent by John Milton
John Milton
When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
Read Poem

Writ on the Steps of Puerto Rican Harlem by Gregory Corso
Gregory Corso
There’s a truth limits man
A truth prevents his going any farther
The world is changing
The world knows it’s changing
Heavy is the sorrow of the day
The old have the look of doom
The young mistake their fate in that look
That is truth
Read Poem

Apotheosis by Samuel Menashe
Samuel Menashe
Taut with longing
You must become
The god you sought—
The only one
Read Poem