1862 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. John Keble

Thomas Arnold, in A Manual of English Literature (1862; 1885) 440.



The deep and strong nature of Keble is reflected in The Christian Year, which has gone through innumerable editions. The expression is often negligent, the imagery sometimes tawdry; but the unbroken logical thread pervading every hymn, and the intense devotional feeling in many, commend them alike to the thinking and to the pious. Keble sometimes expressed himself with singular force and exactness on Catholic doctrines which he was not supposed to hold. In, for instance, the Lyra Innocentium he thus wrote of the privileges of Mary:—

Henceforth, Whom thousand worlds adore,
He calls thee Mother evermore;
Angel nor Saint his face may see,
Apart from what He took of thee.
How may we choose but name thy name,
Echoing below their high acclaim
In holy creeds, since earthly song and prayer
Must keep faint chime with the dread anthems there?