October 12, 2008

"But I will out amid the sleet, and view..."

PROGRESS OF UNBELIEF

NOW is the Autumn of the Tree of Life;
Its leaves are shed upon the unthankful earth,
Which lets them whirl, a prey to the winds' strife,
Heartless to store them for the months of dearth.
Men close the door, and dress the cheerful hearth,
Self-trusting still; and in his comely gear
Of precept and of rite, a household Baal rear.

But I will out amid the sleet, and view
Each shrivelling stalk and silent-falling leaf.
Truth after truth, of choicest scent and hue,
Fades, and in fading stirs the Angels' grief,
Unanswer'd here; for she, once pattern chief
Of faith, my Country, now gross-hearted grown,
Waits but to burn the stem before her idol's throne.

At Sea. June 23, 1833. John Henry Newman. From Lyra Apostolica

JH Newman portrait, engraving by R Woodman, after portrait by Sir WC Ross
John Henry Newman,
Engraving by R Woodman, after portrait by Sir WC Ross

Posted by John Weidner at October 12, 2008 5:18 AM
Weblog by John Weidner