The Mystery of Godliness

Following are excerpts from the poem The Mystery of Godliness by Money-Coutts, Francis Burdett Thomas, 5th Lord Latimer (1852-1923), these remain some of my favorite words ever to appear in verse.

Who stamped us with the minting die
Of this unconquerable need
To know the unknown Deity
And name the nameless in a creed?

Whence comes our instinct, that behind
The flimsy furniture of sense
Inheres the undiscovered Mind
From which the world had emanence?
(p. 3)

And hearts responsive to the sound
Insidious, of persuasive sin,
Must carry, like the garden-ground,
A welcome for what grows therein.

Had Eve possessed a soul like sand,
Without a taint of aught decayed,
Unfructifiable as land
Whereon no herbs nor forests fade,

Then her Betrayer would have sought
An acquiescent ear in vain,
And all his careful tillage wrought
No germination of the grain.

Whence came that weed-receptive soil
That grants the tare such easy root,
And grows, for bread and wine and oil,
The blighted grain and cankered fruit?

(pp. 40-2)

When by the wind of Thought is stirred
Obscure Religion, throned in mist,
"She has not said her final word"
Declares the staunch apologist.

Is it not final, then,--her creed? . . . .
Whatever conflict,--trans- or con-
Homo- or homoi-ousion,
(p. 52)

But thought that strives to reunite
In polished facets of the mind
The broken colours of the light
Baffled in mists of human kind;

Or weaves with reasonable hands,
Into a strong enduring chain
Of texture, all the separate strands
Of all the knowledge men attain.
(p. 99)

Sow not emotion; 'tis a weed
That grows in hedge-rows; every fool
Fancies his own emotions breed
The right to teach, the right to rule.

Sow not religion; 'tis a flower
That robs the sunshine of its hue,
To deck its own peculiar bower
With regal red and saintly blue.

But rare Imagination, caught
Like seed-down from the breezes, sow
In the world's garden; there is nought
Except this balsam for her woe.
(pp. 100-1)


Post a Comment


This content comes from a hidden element on this page.

The inline option preserves bound JavaScript events and changes, and it puts the content back where it came from when it is closed.

Click me, it will be preserved!