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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 08/29/04 08:28:21 AM

Three from Pollock & Pollock II

Poems from The Book of Uncommon Prayer.

On Another's Sorrow

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow fill'd?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear,

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give his joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O he gives to us his joy,
That our grief he may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

William Blake (1757-1827)

Last Lines

A dreadful darkness closes in
   On my bewildered mind;
O let me suffer and not sin,
   Be tortured, yet resigned.

Through all this world of blinding mist
   Still let me look to Thee,
And give me courage to resist
   The Tempter, till he flee.

Weary I am, O give me strength,
   And leave me not to faint:
Say Thou wilt comfort me at length
   And pity my complaint.

I've begged to serve Thee heart and soul,
   To sacrifice to Thee
No niggard portion, but the whole
   Of my identity....

O Thou hast taken our delight,
   And hope of life away;
And bid me watch the painful night
   And wait the weary day.

The hope and the delight were Thine:
   I bless Thee for their loan;
I gave Thee while I deemed them mine
   Too little thanks, I own.

Shall I with joy Thy blessings share
   And not endure their loss?
Or hope the martyr's Crown to wear
   And cast away the Cross?

Anne Brontë (1820-1849)

Made Perfect Through Suffering

I bless thee, Lord, for sorrows sent
   To break my dream of human power;
For now, my shallow cistern spent,
   I find thy founts, and thirst no more.

I take Thy hand, and fears grow still;
   Behold thy face, and doubts remove;
Who would not yield his wavering will
   To perfect Truth and boundless Love?

That Love this restless soul doth teach
   The strength of thine eternal calm;
And tune its sad but broken speech
   To join on earth the angel's psalm.

Oh, be it patient in thy hands,
   And drawn, through each mysterious hour,
To service of thy pure commands,
   The narrow way of Love and Power.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

The Book of Uncommon Prayer (1996), ed. Constance Pollock and Daniel Pollock, pp. 11f, 16f, 85.

See also Three from Pollock & Pollock I: Poems from The Book of Uncommon Prayer.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 08/29/04 08:28:21 AM
Categorized as Literary & Religious & Sunday Poetry Series.


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