1835 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Keble

Chandos Leigh, in Fifth Epistle to a Friend in Town (1835); Poems (1839) 65.



But now devotion, fond enthusiasts say,
Diffuses all around a brighter day.
Seeming Religion walks not in this age
With noiseless step; like heralds on a stage
Zealots blow loud the woe-trumpet, then urge
Denunciations, rising surge o'er surge
Against their weaker brethren; through the town
They have, but where's their charity, — renown?
Such fire-kindling spirits fright the mind,
Destroy the reason, and the judgment blind.
Not such is Keble, Rhedycina's tower
Of strength, but humble as his much-lov'd flower;
Whose "Christian year," too fine for spirits dull,
A golden censer is, of odours full;
A heaven-accepted offering, that fumes
With incense the life-giving word illumes.