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Brianna Cruz

December 5, 2016

English 221-01

Bible as Literature

Dr. Martin

An Analysis of Biblical and Non-Biblical Poetry

The famous poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, Poetry: the best words in the best

order. Poetry is often used by writers to convey emotions without directly stating how they feel.

Both biblical and non-biblical poetry evoke emotion in readers, not only with literary devices

and themes all humans can relate to, but also with their spiritual affiliations. This analysis will

refer to the Roman Catholic religion when alluding to an unspecified religion. Poetry can be

found throughout many books of the bible, however biblical poetry from the Book of Psalms will

be used to complete the literary analysis between biblical and non-biblical poetry. According to

The New Oxford Annotated Bible, the word psalm in Greek means song played on a string

instrument (Psalms p 773.) This implies that the Book of Psalms was meant to be sung, which

allows readers to infer that the poetry found in this section is lyrical poetry. The University of

Chicago clarifies the definition of a lyrical poem by stating, Generally, lyric poets rely on

personal experience, close relationships, and description of feelings as their material. The central

content of lyric poems is not the story or the interaction between characters; instead it is about

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the poet's feelings and personal views (Neziroski.) This definition accurately describes the

Psalms, as they are not accounts of things that have happened in history directly, but rather

describe ones relationship with God in certain situations or periods of time.

Some non-biblical poetry that closely relates to Biblical poetry can be found in the

Romanticism Era. According to Shwartz, the Romantic Era lasted 1750 to 1870 and spread

across Europe, America, and Latin America (The Romantic Era.) This era took place in the late

eighteenth century when artistic and intellectual ideas were on the rise. Lowe describes

Wordworths creation of the lyrical poem during The Romantic Era as the path that he took was

hardly one entirely of his own making, for just as poets do not have their meanings alone, neither

do they have their modes of operating alone (Lowe 265.) This was also known as the era of

invention.

Some famous poets from this time include William Blake, John Gay, and Percy Bysshe

Shelley. These poets will be the authors of poems used to complete the analyses of biblical

poetry versus non-biblical poetry. William Blake was a prominent figure during the Romantic

Era. According to his website, Blake was largely influenced by the ideals that arose after the

revolutions of the French and the American (William Blake Biography.) Due to the time period

in which he was born, his readers can also infer that he was influenced by the role religion

played in society during this time. According to Dr. Samantaray, who did an analysis on Blakes

poetry, Blake received most of his knowledge through the Bible which is reflected in most of his

work (Samantaray 43.) Blake is one poet from the Romanticism Era who often refers to God or a

higher being in his poetry. Several of his poems will be used in the analysis between both secular

types of poetry, including Loves Secret, Auguries of Innocence, and The Echoing Green.

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John Gay is most famously known for his work, The Beggars Opera. An excerpt from

this work, Air XXII, will be used in the analysis between biblical and nonbiblical poetry. One

overall summary of this satirical opera can be quoted directly from Steven Newman, who writes,

Seeking to master a heterogeneous world of high, low and commercial art that emerged in

place of the Court, John Gay cobbled his play together out of genres ranging from Grub Streets

criminal biographies to the operas that entranced the English elite. During his lifetime, Gay

wrote several plays and was also part of a literary group. According to the editors of the

Encyclopedia Britannica, Gay was a member of the Scriblerus Club, which was a group of men

who ridiculed pedantry, or excess concern of rules. His association with these men was clearly

portrayed throughout his most popular opera, The Beggars Opera.

According to Bradlys analysis of Percy Bysshe Shelleys poetry, Shelley was a Christian

woman who was converted atheist later in the nineteenth century. He analyzes Shelleys

religious affiliation when he states, The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

represented the high-water mark of the debate about Shelleys religiousness, in retrospect, and

the tide has clearly moved in the opposite direction since then (Bradley p 191.) Her religious

affiliation is important in this analysis because it can be reflected in her work. While the poem

being used for analysis, The Cloud, was written in 1820, readers can insinuate that during this

time Shelley was no longer practicing Christianity due to the lack of presents of a higher being.

All three poets from the Romanticism Era created poetry that left a lasting impression on readers

throughout history.

One major difference between biblical poetry and non-biblical poetry is the lack of rhyme

and meter in biblical poetry. While biblical poetry does not use rhyme or meter, repetition is a

commonly used writing device (The Poetical Books.) Another basic difference between biblical

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and non-biblical poetry as a group of secular texts is the lack of a higher being in non-biblical

poetry. Although this is true in most cases, this difference cannot be applied to some of William

Blakes poetry. As stated before, Blakes work is often influenced by his connection to the Bible

throughout his life. Although not classified as biblical poetry some authors, such as William

Blake, need to use the idea or presence of God to clearly portray their ideas or emotions to

readers.

One comparison between these two secular groups is the format in which they are

written. Poems are typically written in stanza format, which allows readers to easily identify

them as poems. Secondly, both groups of secular text obtain writing devices such as metaphors,

allusions, hyperboles and personification. The use of these devices appeals to readers emotions

and allows them to better understand the text they are reading. A major similarity between the

poems used for this analysis is illustrated in a quote by Jerome McMann which states, Blake

forces us to consider another sensory dimension of poetic expressiveness. While reading both

secular texts of poetry, especially religious poetry, readers consider another sensory dimension.

This dimension is effected by the readers religious preference and how they are effected by the

use of a higher being in the poetry. The view or belief of a higher being may affect the message

readers take away from the poem. Another major comparison between the biblical and non-

biblical poetry chosen for analysis is the popular themes used in each secular group of texts. This

analysis will obtain both biblical and non-biblical poetry with the following themes; time, nature,

love, and life. These four themes can appeal to any reader both religious and nonreligious.

The first recurring theme found in both biblical and non-biblical poetry is time. The

biblical text being analyzed for the theme of time is Psalm 30 and Psalm 90. The non-biblical

text being analyzed for this theme is Auguries of Innocence by William Blake. Blakes

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underlying message in this poem is; the innocent and under privileged are against the blessed and

privileged in life. Psalm 30 is about ones thankfulness to the Lord in a times of need. The

message a reader takes away from Psalm 90 is even though someone is under privileged, if they

are a believer in God, they are truly blessed.

The theme of time is directly assessed in lines two and three of Auguries of Innocence;

Hold Infinity in the Palm of your hand/ and eternity in an hour. The use of a hyperbole allows

readers to imagine holding a measure of time, or infinity, in the palm of their hand. His second

hyperbole is the next line when he states eternity will last an hour. William Blake does not

directly refer to a higher being in this poem, however he does allude to a higher being by

including places such as heaven and hell in this poem. Psalm 90 falls parallel to this poem with

its display of time in the text in Psalm 90:4, For a thousand years in your sight are like

yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night. This quote is referring to God knowing

what will happen in a thousand years as if it was yesterday. Another quote referring to time in

this Psalm is line 15, Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as

we have seen evil. This line is reflecting to a period of time in history. Moses is referring to

when the Hebrew were slaves in this quote, as this Psalm is known as A prayer of Moses, the

man of God (Bible p 848.) Psalm 30: 5 also refers to time, For his anger is but for a moment; his

favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. This

illustrates to readers that God will support his followers for a lifetime, despite the moments he is

made angry or believers feel weak.

One difference between the biblical and non-biblical poems with a similar theme of time

is the tone in which both poems are presented. Auguries of Innocence has somewhat of a dark,

down tone due to the underlying message of privileged over poor. Psalm 90 is uplifting and

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causes readers to become hopeful despite Gods wrath. Psalm 30 is an uplifting poem as well.

Though there are many descriptions of hardships throughout the poem, such as line 2, I cried to

you for help they are all followed by a positive such as the conclusion of the line and you have

healed me, which allows the tone to continue. Lastly, while Blakes poem follows a rhyme

scheme of ABABCCDDEE (cont.,) Both Psalms 30 and 90 contains no internal or end rhyme.

Although Psalms are meant to be sung, they typically do not follow any rhyme scheme. The

theme of time is illustrated in both Auguries of Innocence by Blake and Psalm 90, although both

poems have different tones and use different writing devices.

Another theme found in both biblical and non-biblical poetry is love. The non-biblical

poem that has the theme of love is also by William Blake and known as Loves Secret. The

Psalms being used in this themes analysis are Psalm 116 and Psalm 136. One major difference

between these texts that can be noticed immediately by readers is the tone of the poems. While

Blake is writing a sad poem about his heartbreak for others who may be seeking love, Psalm 116

is rather a love letter about ones relationship with God. While the theme of Psalm 136 is love,

the poems tone is grateful from the love of the Lord. This poem differs from the other two

because it mostly describes receiving love from God rather than expressing love to God.

One similarity between these poems is the use of repetition. Although Blakes poem is

short, he manages to repeat the phrase, I told multiple times. In Psalm 116, the phrase I will

can be found five times throughout the poem. Psalm 136 includes the most repetition as lines

from the poem are repeated throughout the entire poem. The poem begins with the first three

lines containing the repetitive phrase, O give thanks to the Lord. This repetition illustrates that

believers have many things to give thanks to the Lord for. The author of Psalm 136 uses

repetition of the phrases for his steadfast love endures forever to exaggerate Gods love for his

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creatures. Another similarity is the sign of distress in Psalm 116 and Loves Secret. Blake writes

about the distress in his life caused by his lover leaving him. Psalm 116 illustrates distress in

Psalm 116: 3, which states, The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold

on me; I suffered distress and anguish. Although both poems illustrate distress, Psalm 116

reveals that the distress is passed in 116:4, Then I called on the name of the Lord: O Lord, I

pray, save my life! Readers are presented a resolution for the distress in this poem unlike Loves

Secret. Unfortunately, the distress in Blakes poem continues as the traveler that comes by is also

taken away from him.

The presence of a higher being effects the outcomes of each poem. In Psalm 116, the

reader is in distress but is able to look to God for relief. In Blakes poem he looks to a traveler

for relief from the first woman that leaves him and is caused even more distress when that falls

through. This implies to readers, especially those with religious backgrounds, that the presents of

God in difficult times may change the outcome of a situation. While Loves Secret conveys

heartbreak and sadness for readers, Psalm 116 allows readers to believe that Gods love is

everlasting and he will never leave you when you need him.

The third theme being analyzed is life. Psalm 23 is the biblical poem being compared to

John Gays Three Airs for the Beggars Opera, Air XXII. While both poems tell the reader life is

good the author of each poem has a different reason. In Gays piece, he tells readers they should

enjoy life because there is beauty in life and you never know if you will get a tomorrow. Psalm

23 also says life is good, but it is good because of God. One clear difference between these

poems is the sense of time. In Three Airs for the Beggars Opera, a sense of time is expressed in

multiple lines; lets be gay/while we may ends the first stanza and the second stanza begins

with let us drink and sport to-day/ ours is not tomorrow. / Love with youth flies swift away, /

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age is not but a sorrow. / Dance and sing, / times on the wing, / life never knows the return of

spring. The author is expressing the limited time one has to enjoy the good in their life.

Although the tone remains light and happy, readers are still reminded that an end must come and

they dont know when that will be. Time is expressed in Psalm 23:6, Surely goodness and

mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my

whole life long. The use of the phrase all the days of my life and my whole life long imply

a continuous, lengthy period of time. The thought of an end is not mentioned, therefore the tone

that is positive and upbeat remains constant the whole way through the poem. Regarding the

theme of life, this is where readers may notice the biggest contrast between biblical and non-

biblical poetry. Ones reason for living and how they live is greatly influenced by the role

religion plays in their life or lack thereof.

Another theme both non-biblical poems and biblical poems have in common is nature.

During the Romanticism Era, many scholars were discovering new things about nature, as people

began asking more questions and became more interested in their surroundings. Environmental

Historian, K Jan Oosthoek, informs readers behind the interest of nature during this era by

writing, it was not simply a response to the rationalism of the Enlightenment but also a

reaction against the material changes in society, which accompanied the emerging and expanding

industrial capitalism in the late eighteenth century. In this transition production became

centralised in the city. Due to the changes occurring in society, including factories of mass

production, people during the Romantic Era were beginning to be aware of the impact humans

have on nature.

Two poems that greatly illustrate how nature was viewed during this time period are The

Echoing Green by William Blake and The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley. One Psalm from the

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book of Psalms that is an equal parallel to these poems about nature is Psalm 104. This Psalm is

praising the Lord for all of his creations. One example of praise can be found in Psalm 104:24,

O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of

your creatures! One writing device in this biblical poetry can be found in Psalm 104:1-2,

You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. Here the writer

is stating that God is wrapped in light and comparing the light to a garment. Lines 6-9 obtain

personification, as water is used to act as a human to flee and run. These literary devices

used in biblical poetry are similar to devices used in non-biblical poetry with the theme of nature.

The Echoing Green seems to praise Earth rather than the creator. The tone of the poem is

cheerful and happy as the poem starts out stating, The sun does arise, / and make happy the

skies. / The merry bells ring/ to welcome the Spring. One writing device used in Blakes poem

is a rhyme scheme which follows the pattern; AABBCCDDEE and continues for twenty more

lines. Another literary device used by Blake can be found in the last stanza. Blake uses a simile

to compare children sitting in their mothers laps to birds in their nest. This comparison uses the

word like and creates a connection between humans and animals. This further supports the theme

of nature, while Blake also creates a visual comparison for readers. The Cloud itself as a poem is

written using a similar writing devices as Psalm 104; personification. This poem obtains its title

from the content; as it is told by a cloud and what that cloud does on Earth. Like The Echoing

Green, the poem by Blake also follows a rhyme scheme. Another use of personification in the

poem is found when Shelley writes, The Spirit he loves remains/ And I all the while bask in

Heavens blue smile, / Whilst he is dissolving in rains. This quotes personifies Heaven, as he is

stating that it is doing the human trait of smiling. In this quote, readers can also acknowledge

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Shelleys allusion to a religious place; heaven. This implies there is a higher being which is

similar to Psalm 104.

The major difference between these poems is the way they address nature. In Psalm 104,

readers are led to believe that everything that happens in nature is thanks to God, and he created

everything perfect in his image. Blake addresses the theme of nature by describing the Spring

season and telling a story of a typical day during this season. Shelley personifies a cloud, and

tells readers about nature from this objective. This approach to describing nature is the most

creative of the three due to the point of view it is told from. While both nonbiblical poems

illustrate the beautiful things nature has to offer, the biblical poem provides readers with the

reason why nature has these beautiful things to offer. This difference between biblical and non-

biblical poetry can be seen with several other things, due to the Psalms being a book of praise to

God for all he has done.

The object of this literary analysis was to compare and contrast biblical and non-biblical

poetry. Using the book of Psalms and poems from the Romantic Era, readers can understand and

visualize the many similarities and differences these two secular groups of text have when been

analyzed. This analyses allows from students of religion or literature to acquire a better

understanding of poetry from the Bible as well as the Romantic Era. The analysis also allows

religious readers to obtain a better understanding of their religion.

One similarity between all poems analyzed are the similar four themes; love, life, nature,

and time. These five themes are universal and relatable to all readers. Comparing biblical and

non-biblical text allows readers to become aware of the way religion influences their everyday

lives. When reading both biblical and nonbiblical poetry, the reader should walk away from the

poem feeling or thinking a certain emotion. One emotion commonly felt through reading biblical

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poetry is gratefulness. One emotion commonly felt while reading the non-biblical poetry from

the Romantic era is understanding. While using literary devices to portray abstract ideas, all

poets from this era do one thing accurately for readers; they provide a basic understand on the

theme of their poem. Both secular groups of text obtain literary devices such as metaphors,

hyperboles, allusions, and personification.

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Works Cited

"The Book of Psalms." The New Oxford Annotated Bible. Ed. Michael D. Coogan. 4th ed. New
York: Oxford UP, 2010. 773+. Print.

Bradley, Arthur. 'Until Death Tramples It to Fragments': Pery Bysshe Shelley after Postmodern
Theology" (2006): 191. EBSCOhost. Web. Nov. 2016.

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. "John Gay." Encyclopedia Britannica Online.


Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. Dec. 2016.
Lowe, Derek. "Poems So Materially Different": Eighteenth Century Literary Property and
Wordsworth's Mechanisms of Propriety Authorship in the 1800 Lyrical Ballads (2016): 1.
Boston University. Web. Nov. 2016.

McGann, Jerome. "Reflections on Textual and Documentary Media in a Romantic and Post-
Romantic Horizon. (2014): 489. EBSCOhost. Web. Nov. 2016.

Newman, Steve. The Value of 'Nothing': Ballads in The Beggars Opera (2004): 265.
EBSCOhost. Web. Nov. 2016.

Neziroski, Lirim. "Narrative, Lyric, Drama." Narrative, Lyric, Drama. The University of
Chicago, Winter 2003. Web. Nov. 2016.

Oosthoek, K. Jan. "Romanticism and Nature." Environmental History Resources. Environmental


History Resources, 24 Dec. 2015. Web. Nov. 2016.

"The Poetical Books." Bible.org. N.p., n.d. Web. Nov. 2016.

Samantaray, Dr. Swati. "Demystifying Mysticism: A Comparative Study of the Poetry of


William Blake and Rabindranath Tagore." The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language
Studies 19 (n.d.): 41-51. Web. Nov. 2016.

Shwartz, Robert. "The Romantic Era." The France of Victor Hugo: Unmasking the Bourgoise.
N.p., May 1999. Web. Nov. 2016.

"William Blake Biography." William Blake Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. Dec. 2016.

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Poetry Annex

Non-biblical Poetry:

Auguries of Innocence by William Blake (time)

To see a World in a Grain of Sand


And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage
A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thr' all its regions
A dog starvd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State
A Horse misusd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear
A Skylark wounded in the wing
A Cherubim does cease to sing
The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright
Every Wolfs & Lions howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul
The wild deer, wandring here & there
Keeps the Human Soul from Care
The Lamb misused breeds Public Strife
And yet forgives the Butchers knife
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that wont Believe
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbelievers fright
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belovd by Men
He who the Ox to wrath has movd
Shall never be by Woman lovd
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spiders enmity
He who torments the Chafers Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night

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The Caterpillar on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar
The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat
The Gnat that sings his Summers Song
Poison gets from Slanders tongue
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envys Foot
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artists Jealousy
The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags
Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags
A Truth thats told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent
It is right it should be so
Man was made for Joy & Woe
And when this we rightly know
Thro the World we safely go
Joy & Woe are woven fine
A Clothing for the soul divine
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine
The Babe is more than swadling Bands
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made & Born were hands
Every Farmer Understands
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity
This is caught by Females bright
And returnd to its own delight
The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of Death
The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air
Does to Rags the Heavens tear
The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun
Palsied strikes the Summers Sun
The poor Mans Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Africs Shore
One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands
Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands

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Or if protected from on high
Does that whole Nation sell & buy
He who mocks the Infants Faith
Shall be mockd in Age & Death
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall neer get out
He who respects the Infants faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death
The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons
The Questioner who sits so sly
Shall never know how to Reply
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesars Laurel Crown
Naught can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armors iron brace
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow
A Riddle or the Crickets Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply
The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will neer Believe do what you Please
If the Sun & Moon should Doubt
Theyd immediately Go out
To be in a Passion you Good may Do
But no Good if a Passion is in you
The Whore & Gambler by the State
Licensed build that Nations Fate
The Harlots cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet
The Winners Shout the Losers Curse
Dance before dead Englands Hearse
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to sweet delight
Some are Born to Endless Night
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light

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God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day

Loves Secret by William Blake (love)

Never seek to tell thy love,


Love that never told can be;
For the gentle wind doth move
Silently, invisibly.

I told my love, I told my love,


I told her all my heart
Trembling, cold, in ghastly fears.
Ah! She did depart!

Soon after she was gone from me,


A traveler came by,
Silently, invisibly:
He took her with a sigh.

The Echoing Green by William Blake (nature)


The sun does arise,
And make happy the skies.
The merry bells ring
To welcome the Spring.
The sky-lark and thrush,
The birds of the bush,
Sing louder around,
To the bells cheerful sound.
While our sports shall be seen

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On the Echoing Green.

Old John, with white hair


Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak,
Among the old folk,
They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say.
Such, such were the joys.
When we all girls & boys,
In our youth-time were seen,
On the Echoing Green.

Till the little ones weary


No more can be merry
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end:
Round the laps of their mothers,
Many sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their nest,
Are ready for rest;
And sport no more seen,
On the darkening Green.

The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley


I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,


And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skies bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,

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It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dreams, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,


And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine ary nest,
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbd maiden with white fire laden,


Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till calm the rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,


And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.

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From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire, and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-coloured bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colours wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,


And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.

Three Airs for the Beggars Opera, Air XXII

John Gay

Youths the season made for joys,

Love is then our duty;

She alone who that employs,

Well deserves her beauty.

Lets be gay,

While we may,

Beautys a flower despisd in decay.

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Let us drink and sport to-day,

Ours is not tomorrow.

Love with youth flies swift away,

Age is naught but sorrow.

Dance and sing,

Times on the wing,

Life never knows the return of spring.

The following poems were transferred from poemhunter.com to provide a poetry annex.
All Psalms can be found in The Book of Psalms, which can be found in The Bible.

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