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