Three from Pollock & Pollock III
Poems from The Book of Uncommon Prayer.
Guide Us Upward
Dim as the borrowed beams of moon and stars
To lonely, weary, wandering travelers
Is reason to the soul; and as on high
Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
Not light us here; so Reason's glimmering ray
Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way,
But guide us upward to a better day.
And as those nightly tapers disappear
When day's bright lord ascends our hemisphere;
So pale grows Reason at Religion's sight;
So dies, and so dissolves in supernatural light.
John Dryden (1631-1700)
For Divine Strength
Father, in Thy mysterious presence kneeling,
Fain would our souls feel all Thy kindling love;
For we are weak, and need some deep revealing
Of trust and strength and calmness from above.
Lord, we have wandered forth through doubt and sorrow,
And Thou hast made each step an onward one;
And we will ever trust each unknown morrow
Thou wilt sustain us till its work is done.
In the heart's depth a peace serene and holy
Abides; and when pain seems to have its will,
Or we despair, O may that peace rise slowly
Stronger than agony, and we be still!
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
Who Shall Deliver Me?
God strengthen me to bear myself,
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.
All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out,
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.
I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?
God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys:
Myself, arch-traitor to myself;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.
Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me,
Break off the yoke and set me free.
Christina Georgina Rosetti (1830-1894)
The Book of Uncommon Prayer (1996), ed. Constance Pollock and Daniel Pollock, pp. 56f, 86, 128.
See also Three from Pollock & Pollock II: Poems from The Book of Uncommon Prayer.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Sun. 09/05/04 09:23:20 PM
Categorized as Literary & Religious & Sunday Poetry Series.