Poetry Club, day 13

This poem is in the public domain, so there’s no financial reason why I didn’t include it in The Joy of Poetry. But I feel its absence. It’s a poem I think my mom would have liked because 1) It’s addressed to the Almighty, and 2) It rhymes.

I’m posting it today because April 19 is what E.B. White called a “flagless memorial day.” He used the term in his essay “Death of a Pig.” It’s the day that he would always remember because of what it signified in his life. It’s just That Day.

 

No Coward Soul is Mine

 

No coward soul is mine

No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere

I see Heaven’s glories shine

And Faith shines equal arming me from Fear

 

O God within my breast

Almighty ever-present Deity

Life, that in me hast rest,

As I Undying Life, have power in Thee

 

Vain are the thousand creeds

That move men’s hearts, unutterably vain,

Worthless as withered weeds

Or idlest froth amid the boundless main

 

To waken doubt in one

Holding so fast by thy infinity,

So surely anchored on

The steadfast rock of Immortality.

 

With wide-embracing love

Thy spirit animates eternal years

Pervades and broods above,

Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates and rears

 

Though earth and moon were gone

And suns and universes ceased to be

And Thou wert left alone

Every Existence would exist in thee

 

There is not room for Death

Nor atom that his might could render void

Since thou art Being and Breath

And what thou art may never be destroyed.

 

~ Emily Bronte

 

Your turn.

Comments

  1. what a beautiful poem.
    My turn?
    Here’s a poem I wrote a few years back and just posted on FB this morning:

    Flight Plan
    I just saw three chickadees stun themselves,
    Mama Bird watching from the patio post
    hopeful their wings and wisdom would coincide
    with the air.
    They collided instead with the window,
    the glass a surprise, barring flight and freedom,
    impeding the discovery of their avian selves,
    creatures made for God’s pleasure and my joy.
    Husband’s kind hand cradles the weaker of the two
    as tender, bending fingers restore the feathery treasure.
    Gentle, he tips his palm slightly as spindly claws
    cling to this safe, sure place.
    At last a tentative hop! to the railing
    As the rattled Icarus rallies and we hold our breath.
    I turn and look back—the bird has flown.
    I marvel at the miracle of flight
    and ponder the power of a
    gentle touch that lifts
    a sure hand that guides
    and patience to push us
    past safety to see if we can fly.

  2. That first line, absolutely!

    How about that strings of verbs, “…Thy spirit… animates…pervades…broods…changes…sustains…dissolves…creates…rears”?

  3. I’ve been sitting here reading it over and over aloud. And yes, the verbs. And metaphors. And the ending.

    “Since thou art Being and Breath

    And what thou art may never be destroyed.”

    It’s a beautiful poem.

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