Category: Inspiring Poems

Blessing in this gentle breeze

“OH there is blessing in this gentle breeze,

A visitant that while it fans my cheek

Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings

From the green fields, and from yon azure sky.

Whate’er its mission, the soft breeze can come

To none more grateful than to me; escaped

From the vast city, where I long had pined

A discontented sojourner: now free, Free as a bird…”

From The Prelude by William Wordsworth

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Image by Lucian Aeris from Pixabay
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“Wisdom and Spirit of the universe”

” WISDOM and Spirit of the universe!
Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!
And giv’st to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion! not in vain,
By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,–until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart. “

by William Wordsworth

Inspiring Poems: Binsey Poplars

Inspiring Poems: Binsey Poplars

One of the greatest of poems about trees being cut down:

“All felled, felled, are all felled; 
    Of a fresh and following folded rank 
                Not spared, not one 
                That dandled a sandalled 
         Shadow that swam or sank 
On meadow & river & wind-wandering weed-winding bank.”

Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote these words about a line of tree in Binsey, near Oxford.

He protests at the destruction of nature:

O if we but knew what we do 
         When we delve or hew — 
     Hack and rack the growing green!
 …

… even where we mean 
                 To mend her we end her, 
            When we hew or delve: 
After-comers cannot guess the beauty been
.”

You might enjoy reading the full poem here.

Camels and Leopards, and other animals…

“Let Noah and his company approach the throne of Grace, and do homage to the Ark of their Salvation.

Let Abraham present a Ram, and worship the God of his Redemption.

Let Isaac, the Bridegroom, kneel with his Camels, and bless the hope of his pilgrimage.

Let Jacob, and his speckled Drove adore the good Shepherd of Israel.

Let Esau offer a scape Goat for his seed, and rejoice in the blessing of God his father.

Let Nimrod, the mighty hunter, bind a Leopard to the altar, and consecrate his spear to the Lord.”

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from Jubilate Agno, by Christoper Smart

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Adam and Eve in Worthy Paradise, Rubens

Inspiring Poems: “Lines Written in Early Spring”

 

There is something about the simplicity of this poem that has always appealed to me…

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind…
earlyspring WORDSWORTH
And despite the simplicity, there is a deep spirituality as well.  There is a connection with nature:
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
toherfairworks naturelink
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
It’s as if the whole poem sings about the joys of life and nature, whilst still aware of the realities of life (“What man has made of man…”).  
But I do not dwell on the injustices of life, although I am reminded of them when I read this poem.  I am left with Wordsworth’s wonderful vision of life.
leastmotion pleasure WORDSWORTH 
Did you enjoy this poem too?
You can read it without images here:
Inspiring Poems – “For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry”

Inspiring Poems – “For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry”

“At the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way…”

So writes Christopher Smart in his beautiful lines about his pet cat, contained in a much longer poem called “Jubilate Agno”.

Here is an extract of this part of the poem to give you a feel of the wonderful detailed appreciation and thinking out loud that Christopher Smart produces:

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry,
For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For he knows that God is his saviour.
For God has blessed him in the variety of his movements.
For there is nothing sweeter than his peace when at rest.
For I am possessed of a cat, surpassing in beauty, from whom I take occasion to bless Almighty God.

I came across a lovely blog post about this poem when researching this morning, which you can read here.

And if you would like to read more of this amazing poem, there is a very thorough website about it here.

Inspiring Poems: The Wreath

A WREATHED garland of deservèd praise,
Of praise deservèd, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live,—
Wherein I die, not live ; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

This poem is particularly amazing in the way that the words are threaded from one line to the next, like a kind of wreath. See how “praise” is repeated, then “give”, then “ways”, and so on…

A WREATHED garland of deservèd praise,
Of praise deservèd, unto Thee I give,
I give to Thee, who knowest all my ways,
My crooked winding ways, wherein I live,—
Wherein I die, not live ; for life is straight,
Straight as a line, and ever tends to Thee,
To Thee, who art more far above deceit,
Than deceit seems above simplicity.
Give me simplicity, that I may live,
So live and like, that I may know Thy ways,
Know them and practise them : then shall I give
For this poor wreath, give Thee a crown of praise.

George Herbert, who wrote this poem, was probably also thinking of the “crown of thorns”; but he has a “crown of praise” instead to give to God.

Image by Nadine Zarya from Pixabay

Inspiring Poems : “Joy of my life…” by Henry Vaughan

Joy of my life while left me here ! 
             And still my Love ! 
How in thy absence thou dost steer 
             Me from above ! 
             A life well led 
             This truth commends, 
             With quick or dead 
             It never ends.

Stars are of mighty use ; the night
             Is dark, and long ; 
The road foul ; and where one goes right, 
             Six may go wrong. 
             One twinkling ray, 
             Shot o’er some cloud, 
             May clear much way, 
             And guide a crowd.

God’s saints are shining lights : who stays
             Here long must pass 
O’er dark hills, swift streams, and steep ways 
             As smooth as glass ; 
             But these all night, 
             Like candles, shed 
             Their beams, and light 
             Us into bed.

They are—indeed—our pillar fires,
             Seen as we go ; 
They are that City’s shining spires 
             We travel to : 
             A swordlike gleam 
             Kept man for sin 
             First out ;  this beam 
             Will guide him in

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Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay

Commemorating Christina Rossetti 2 – Remember Me

This beautiful poem by Christina Rossetti is on the theme of remembrance.  

Remember me when I am gone away,
         Gone far away into the silent land;
         When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
         You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
         Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
         And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
         For if the darkness and corruption leave
         A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
         Than that you should remember and be sad.
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remember me