AN AGNOSTIC HYMN - John Frederick William Herschel Poems


Poems » john frederick william herschel » an agnostic hymn


Oh! not the unreasoning God for me,
Foreseeing, knowing all
That in the wondrous world he made
His creatures should befall.

Created them with keen desire,
Then called fulfilment sin,
And drove them forth with flaming fire,
Their toil-earned bread to win.

And then repenting of his deed,
A man God did create,
Who by his death upon the cross
That sin should expiate.

The God whom man eats in the bread,
Whose blood he drinks in wine,
Such pagan faith be far from me --
I own a more divine.

I see in every tree that grows,
In seed that all contains,
In every wind, and cloud that flows
In fertilising rains,

In every stone whose atoms whirl,
Yet seems so coldly still,
Or in the wood with living sap,
Thy unresistless will.

In sands that at a vibrant sound
Of music straightway leap,
And range themselves in beauteous forms
From out the inert heap.

In far off stars, in blazing suns
That never, never rest,
What tho' I cannot understand,
My God is manifest.

No knowledge mine that when I die
I e'er shall live again,
I am thy creature, and content
With what thou dost ordain.

To thee I blow, I lift my soul,
I, thy all-teeming clod,
Seen Spirit -- yet invisible --
The Great, the Unknown God!